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Are Tax Deductions for Charity Robbing our Government Coffers?

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posted on May, 25 2012 @ 07:57 AM
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Originally posted by DarthMuerte
IIRC, even secular corporations can write off their lobbying "expenses". As long as that is true, leave the charities alone.


So what you're saying is that two wrongs make it right?

If you believe that churches should have the right to spend their money influencing legislation while at the same time enjoying a tax exempt status, then you clearly do not understand the meaning of separation of church & state.


edit on 25-5-2012 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 25 2012 @ 08:04 AM
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Hell no!! I am already taxed on that money when I earn it in my paycheck. Why should it get taxed AGAIN when I give it away? I don't care if it's to a charity or to my grandma or to my cat Tiddybomboms or to the grocery store. The govt already taxed me on it once, that is enough! C'mon people wake up.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 08:18 AM
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Originally posted by ownbestenemy

Originally posted by JBA2848
Lets see Mitt Romney donates his tax money to a charity that he runs? Then that charity donates $10,000 to Michael Bloombergs daughters horse riding club.


Its in his tax release.


And this has to do with the topic how? Can we just for a moment discuss the topic and leave caustic and jabbing comments about politicians out of it for once? There is some correlation between what you said (just you didn't really say it) and the question; but your response is pure partisan dribble.

If you think Mitt Romney is the only abuser of the system then you are woefully blinded.


Actually, he/she is not off topic at all. If you had taken the time to watch the video, you would have noticed that the primary target of Bill Maher's rhetoric is indeed Mitt Romney and his so called "charitable donations." Actually, the entire segment was created to respond to criticism that was directed at Bill Maher's previous statements, specifically regarding Mitt Romney.

Off topic, I think not.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 08:29 AM
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Originally posted by jjkenobi
Hell no!! I am already taxed on that money when I earn it in my paycheck. Why should it get taxed AGAIN when I give it away? I don't care if it's to a charity or to my grandma or to my cat Tiddybomboms or to the grocery store. The govt already taxed me on it once, that is enough! C'mon people wake up.


Is hard to even know where to begin responding to a statement like this one. You do realize, that getting a tax write off for charitable donations means that you don't get taxed for that income, do you not.

In case you don't, here's how it works; First you earn your income which is taxed by the federal government, then at the end of the year you file your tax return on which you provide the proper documentation to verify tax exempt charitable donations you have given during the year. That amount is then deducted from your gross income, leaving you with a figure known as your taxable income.

You are not being taxed on the same money twice, that's a load of crap.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 08:43 AM
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Whoops please delete
edit on 25-5-2012 by elouina because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 09:34 AM
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reply to post by ownbestenemy & Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


While I don't necessarily oppose the right of the church to be tax exempt, provided they maintain the separation of church & state by refraining from using their resources and/or their pulpit for political purposes. On the other hand, I do oppose tax breaks for monies donated to them. It is my belief that when the rest of the taxpaying public is forced to make up for the shortfall in revenues caused by tax loopholes, in essence we are supporting that entity whether we want to or not. Hardly freedom from religion by any stretch of the imagination.

What this boils down to IMO, is an environment where every taxpaying Atheist in America is indeed supporting organized religion despite their own beliefs to the contrary. While I am not Atheist, I can definitely understand where they may feel as though their own religious rights are being violated by the very laws meant to protect them. This line of thinking could also be applied to numerous other, not so conventional religious beliefs.

Furthermore, I don't limit my scrutiny to religious organizations. There are plenty of charitable organizations out there that IMO, should not be privy to tax exempt donations, some of which Bill Maher mentioned in his piece.

With respect to the First Amendment;

en.wikipedia.org...

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


Just the same as I believe that the "Citizen's United" decision went too far with respect to establishing that corporations are people, the same is true for religious organizations, unions, PACs, lobbying firms, the opera house, etc... None of these organizations are "people" but rather collections of people who band together behind a common cause or belief.

While the First Amendment does indeed restrict the Congress from enacting laws "respecting the establishment of" or "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion, I do not see where it gives religious organizations and/or corporations etc..., the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Those rights are reserved for the "people." Seeing how corporations, churches, PACs, lobbying firms, etc... are not born of a live birth, I hardly consider them people.

IMO, the semicolon that is present following the word "thereof" was put there for a reason. You may notice that there are only two semicolons in the First Amendment. It is my belief that they were placed there in order to establish the difference between rights afforded to religious organizations from those of the people and the press. The First Amendment does not give religious organizations the right to redress the government, it specifically reserves that right for the "people."

Religion is not politics and the First Amendment does not protect a churches right to exercise politics. It protects their right to organize and exercise religion, nothing more.

edit on 25-5-2012 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 10:09 AM
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reply to post by Flatfish
 


There is no such thing as the "right to be tax exempt". An exemption, by definition, is the relief from obligation, or liability. Taxing a church would be a violation of "separation of church and state". Taxation is for the state by the state and of the state, just the same as government is for the people, by the people, and of the people. If you want "separation of church and state" then you don't want to tax them. If you tax churches then they have every reasonable expectation of being a part of the state.

Churches should have never acquiesced to pressure to obtain "tax exempt" status to being with. Chief Justice John Marshall once said that "the power to tax is the power to destroy" and there is no better way to destroy the free exercise of religion than taxation, and there is no better way of skirting the Establishment Clause than taxation. You don't like tithers getting a "tax breaks" for tithing? You don't like donors getting "tax breaks" for donating to a church? Then why would you ignore what I stated earlier and take the stance that you don't oppose churches getting "tax exemption"?

The only possible way a church can get a "tax exemption" is to be liable for a tax to begin with. Since no church has never been made liable for any tax collectible by the IRS the only possible way the IRS could have any authority over churches is through "tax exempt" status.

Further, this whole attitude that because some people are not "paying their fair share of taxes" (I am quoting a general attitude not you) because it creates "shortfalls" in revenue is only valid for those who advocate a constant and continued expansion of government, which this camp likes to call "progressive". It is demonstrably so, however, that the progressives have only managed to create a regressive return out of control government authority. The Magna Carta was written and forced upon King John because he was an absurdly out of control government authority who believed he could get away with whatever he wanted to and all he needed to do to finance his inanities was tax the holy crap out of the nation. That didn't end too well for King John.

Now, here we are back to the days of monarchies, only know instead of calling them kings we call the presidents, and instead of hereditary royalty or "divine right" of kings, we elect our kings (presidents), and through taxation we fund school systems that teach our children that what makes us free is the ability to elect our out of control tax crazed kings. Now that's progressive! Progress down the primrose path of hell.

The American "Taxpayer" has become the equivalent of the Russian "Proletariat", or communist. The "Taxpayer" has decided that they get to decide who can do what and where because they are a "Taxpayer" and while they "don't mind" that certain charities and churches don't pay taxes, the "Taxpayer" does mind this or that, blah, blah, blah.

Taxpayer is a statutorily defined term by the tax code. A "Taxpayer" by definition is one who is subject to any applicable revenue law. It follows then that if a "Taxpayer" is one who is subject to any applicable revenue law then there must be "Non-Taxpayers" who are not subject to any applicable revenue laws. Are you under the impression that what makes you a statutorily defined "Taxpayer" is your atheism? Would that be the subject to the tax "Taxpayers" pay? Atheism? There is hereby a tax imposed upon atheism? Is that what you think happened?

Of course, in all likelihood you have no idea what the subject of the so called "income tax" is and it has never occurred to you to ask what the subject of the tax is, maybe just assuming the subject of the tax is "income". Few understand principles of Constitutional taxation, and have no idea who taxes and their imposition really work, and in spite of the fact that Revolution for Independence was sparked by a tax revolt over 200 years ago, today anyone who challenges the efficacy of dubious tax schemes is labeled un-American, because the tax dollars invested in "education" has taught everyone to think this way.

Thank God we use tax dollars to "educate" we the people so government can tell the "Taxpayer" what to think. Who wants to think anyway? I'm sure more people would think if it were "tax deductible" but it ain't, so screw that thinking! Let the government do our thinking for us.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


I don't oppose the tax exempt status of the church because, they are supposed to be spending their funds in a manner that is not intended to generate a profit or influence legislation, but rather to aid and enlighten mankind. When they step outside of this realm, I believe they should lose that status as was the case with The Landmark Church in 2000.

www.wnd.com...


Yesterday, a federal appeals court upheld the

Internal Revenue
Service’s decision to revoke the tax-exempt status of a church that had paid for newspaper ads against then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton in 1992. The revocation is the first in the history of the IRS and serves as a warning from the federal judiciary that churches may not fund partisan activity. U.S. law granting tax-exempt status also forbids tax-exempt organizations from involvement in “any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”


With respect to the Boston Tea Party, you and I both know that it wasn't just about taxes. It was also about representation. Hence the age old slogan which originated from that very revolt; "No Taxation Without Representation." According to the slogan, they weren't necessarily opposed to being taxed so long as they had representation within the government that was taxing them.

This is another reason that I'm not opposed to the tax exempt status of churches, (providing that they restrict themselves to religious activities) because by the very nature of "separation of church & state," they should have no representation in government.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 11:17 AM
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reply to post by Flatfish
 


You are ignoring the facts of law I have pointed out in order to keep framing churches as being "tax exempt", then you want to turn around and complain about the perks they get for this "tax exemption". I don't care why you don't oppose "tax exemption", as a point of law churches need no exemption.

Further, no one has any lawful authority to tell churches how they are supposed to spend their money, or that they cannot attempt to influence the legislative process. The only possible way anyone could find this lawful authority to regulate churches, which is clearly what you advocating even while you pay lip service to "separation of church and state", is if that church - by way of contract- surrendered their unalienable right and acquiesced to some kind of contract granting government regulatory power over them like...say...oh, I don't know...hey, how about a tax exempt status! That's the ticket!

Is this why you advocate "tax exempt status" for churches? Because you want government to have regulatory power over churches?

The Colonists, by the way, were so opposed to taxation that prior to the legislation and ratification of the federal Constitution, there was another constitution in place known as the Articles of Confederation of Perpetual Union that denied the national government any authority to impose taxes. The national government could ask the states to pay taxes but they could not impose them. Because the states were under no obligation to pay the national government taxes, several states declined to do so. This was the primary reason for the creation of federalism and the Constitution, to allow the federal government the complete and plenary power of taxation.

However, it was not as if this idea of federalism and granting a national legislature the complete and plenary power of taxation was a popular one. So unpopular was this idea that Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison had to work arduously selling the idea of federalism to the public in pamphlets that have now come to be known as the Federalist Papers. Of course, much lesser known to people today who like to declare "you and I both know", was the Anti-Federalist Papers, and the issue of taxation remained an odious one. So much so there was the infamous Whiskey Rebellion even after federalism won out.

Of course, you and I both know that this is not what is taught in the government run education institutions paid for by tax dollars. Yea taxation! As long as we have "representation" taxes are just a mighty fine dandy thing.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 11:34 AM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


Look, you can bitch and moan all you want about how unjust you think taxes are. The fact is, as you stated yourself, federalism won out! That's how we decided to fund our government so that it could meet the needs of the "people" it represents.

I never said I liked taxes, who the hell does? Maybe you have an idea as to an alternative method of funding that will meet the funding requirements of a government tasked with defense and general welfare of it's peoples as well as being popular enough to get it adopted. If so, put it out there. Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky. Just don't go harping on and on about how well off we would be with no government at all.

On another note, for you to think that you are the only person capable of reading and understanding U.S. history, (which you seem to imply from time to time) then your head is way too big for your body. Then again, maybe that explains your avatar.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 11:50 AM
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reply to post by Flatfish
 


Making a point of law is hardly bitching and moaning about taxes, and what I am bitching and moaning about is the unlawfulness of people! The fact is that federalism doesn't mean that We the People lost! There is still a Bill of Rights, there is still a First Amendment and your disingenuous lip service to "separation of church and state" has nothing at all to do with this thread. You're not advocating "separation of church and state" at all and are advocating quite the opposite.

I don't care if you like taxes or not! Taxation is not about popularity, it is about greasing the wheels of government, and are necessary. "Income" taxation, on the other hand, is not at all necessary, and certainly has nothing at all to do with churches and "tax exemptions"

I am not "implying" I understand history better than you, I am flat out asserting it. Your "you and I both known...taxation without representation blah blah blah" was hardly a keen assessment of history.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 12:59 PM
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I see you guys talking about the taxes on churches. But who ever said that people should not be taxed for the money they give to churches? Pay your taxes on the money you make then do what ever you want with it. And if you give it to a church. The church will not get taxed for income there safe. But a person should be taxed for it no matter what they do with there money. Will it destroy churches? No! You think something that has been around for 2000 years is going to go away that easy. And the word church infront of some thing is really being taken advantage of. Is it a church that prays away the gay for a fee? Should they be tax exempt? Is it a church that Bloombergs daughter rides with? No! Why are the donations to her horse riding club tax exempt?

Changeing this story to churches being allowed to be tax exempt really is misleading. The problem is not with the churches and what they do. But with the scams ran by simply adding Christian or religious name to the front. And then getting away with what ever you want because of your business name and being tax exempt while you do it.

If you look into the life of politicians you will see a life based around scaming your way out of taxes and trying to get the most of all the governments grants that you possibly can. Take Michele Bachmann live on a farm so you can collect farm subsidies. Free money from the government. Start a business and add Christian to the name and claim tax exempt because of religion. Then adopt a bunch of kids and claim ten dependants and pay no taxes. Plus get a check from the state to help pay for all those kids. Then put all those kids to work on your farm and in your business and even your political campaigns and claim tax free because it was parent child business.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:29 PM
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Originally posted by Flatfish
Actually, he/she is not off topic at all. If you had taken the time to watch the video, you would have noticed that the primary target of Bill Maher's rhetoric is indeed Mitt Romney and his so called "charitable donations." Actually, the entire segment was created to respond to criticism that was directed at Bill Maher's previous statements, specifically regarding Mitt Romney.


And that was what I was getting at. Your question in the title and even the OP are not what you are discussing then. I took it as a non-partisan view on the tax-code in this manner and it now turns out to be about Mitt Romney and the Mormon "cult" as Maher so "wittily" proclaims.

At least now we can move forward with the real discussion I suppose.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 03:38 PM
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Originally posted by ownbestenemy

Originally posted by Flatfish
Actually, he/she is not off topic at all. If you had taken the time to watch the video, you would have noticed that the primary target of Bill Maher's rhetoric is indeed Mitt Romney and his so called "charitable donations." Actually, the entire segment was created to respond to criticism that was directed at Bill Maher's previous statements, specifically regarding Mitt Romney.


And that was what I was getting at. Your question in the title and even the OP are not what you are discussing then. I took it as a non-partisan view on the tax-code in this manner and it now turns out to be about Mitt Romney and the Mormon "cult" as Maher so "wittily" proclaims.

At least now we can move forward with the real discussion I suppose.


I was not trying to imply that this thread was created to talk about Mitt Romney because it wasn't. I created it to speak to the issue of "pet" charities and the 60 billion dollars in lost annual tax revenues. On the other hand, Mitt Romney and his charitable donations was indeed the main subject in the video I posted, so I fail to see how the other poster was so off topic that it warranted a complaint.

To put it in Bill Maher's words, "If the shoe fits"



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 03:42 PM
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reply to post by Flatfish
 


"60 billion dollars in lost annual revenue" is a lie. People are not commodities that are a part of government inventory. When it comes to taxation there is no such thing as "lost annual revenue", unless Congress passed a poll tax, of which then when someone died there would be "lost annual revenue" but Congress, even though they have the power to do so, has never ever passed a poll tax. Congress generally relies upon indirect taxation and all indirect taxes are defeatable taxes so it is ridiculous to talk about an indirect tax and lament "lost annual revenue".



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 03:47 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


Then maybe you could be so kind as to explain, in your infinite wisdom, just how you would propose to fund our government in the absence of income tax and just who should be privy to paying these fees, or whatever you choose to call them, and who will be exempt.

And please don't tell me that it should be done through voluntary donations.




edit on 25-5-2012 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 03:53 PM
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reply to post by Flatfish
 


Government got along just fine before income taxation, and in my limited wisdom I all ready pointed out that the national debt at the time the so called "Personal Income Tax" was passed was around $2 billion dollars and the tax scheme was supposed to eliminate that debt. Today, after nearly 100 years of income taxation the national debt is over $15 trillion...$15 trillion...$15 Trillion!

Why don't you explain why that is.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 04:36 PM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
reply to post by Flatfish
 


Government got along just fine before income taxation, and in my limited wisdom I all ready pointed out that the national debt at the time the so called "Personal Income Tax" was passed was around $2 billion dollars and the tax scheme was supposed to eliminate that debt. Today, after nearly 100 years of income taxation the national debt is over $15 trillion...$15 trillion...$15 Trillion!

Why don't you explain why that is.



I suspect that the problem is two fold but first I have to ask, what was the population at the time that we had this 2 billion dollar debt? Was it 300 million or was it just a fraction of that number. I was under the impression that the first income taxes were actually imposed in order to help fund the Civil War. Furthermore, how much did it cost to put on a war back then and how much does it cost today.

www.infoplease.com...


In 1862, in order to support the Civil War effort, Congress enacted the nation's first income tax law. It was a forerunner of our modern income tax in that it was based on the principles of graduated, or progressive, taxation and of withholding income at the source.


Prior to that, I would just imagine, that at least on a personal level, many used slave labor to keep themselves out of debt. Imagine that!

Anyway, my answer would be that we got in this position by continually engaging our military in foreign wars for various unscrupulous reasons while simultaneously lowering the highest marginal tax rate to near non-existance. On top of that, the epidemic of instituting tax loopholes for wealthy individuals and corporations has virtually made them immune to taxation. Some, like Exxon Mobile pay no taxes at all while at the same time they are somehow privy to government subsidies. Go figure.

On top of that, add the elimination of the "Glass-Steagal Act" which led to fraudulent lending and institutional corruption that nearly destroyed this nation's economy. Actually, I'm really surprised we didn't reach this point sooner.

Now, maybe you can explain just how further reducing and/or cutting off the government's source of revenue will fix this problem. This one I gotta hear.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 04:38 PM
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reply to post by Flatfish
 


The money doesn't start out as the government's it starts out as the people's. The only way to 'rob' the coffers would be to wrongfully receive a direct payment from them (constituted of mostly other peoples money), not getting your own money back. You know, kinda like welfare.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by snusfanatic
reply to post by Flatfish
 


The money doesn't start out as the government's it starts out as the people's. The only way to 'rob' the coffers would be to wrongfully receive a direct payment from them (constituted of mostly other peoples money), not getting your own money back. You know, kinda like welfare.


Yeah, and the government's role is to serve it's people. Who should fund the army that protects our freedom? Who should pay for the FDA who insures that our food is safe to eat? Who should pay for the Dept. of Weights & Measures who insures that you get a full gallon of gas when you pay for one? Who should pay for the collective education of our children? Who should pay for the water treatment facilities that provide us with clean water.

Answer: The people, that's who! And we have chosen to do so via the institution of a federal income tax to collect the necessary revenues to fund these things.

I can see people yearning for more efficient government, what I don't understand are those who profess the elimination of government and let's face it, that's exactly what they're promoting when they say that the government has no right to collect money from the people.



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