Should We Be Taxing Churches?


Caroline McLoughlin

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA- Tax: we all pay it, we’ve fought wars over it, but it is not inclusive for everyone. Churches of all religions have not been paying income taxes for years and now the subject is up for debate.

Churches and other religious organizations, as of right now, are mainly exempt from income tax. There are, however, some exceptions to this law in which some churches and religious institutions do have to pay income tax.

The main problem with imposing tax on churches is that they run on donations. Then, if you follow this logic, nonprofit organizations and other charities would also have to tax. Most nonprofits and charities are not subject to pay sales tax or property tax, and just like churches, they don’t have to pay income tax, but there are some exceptions.   

Nonprofit and charity organizations, like churches, get most if not all of their funding from donations. With nothing but donations funding the good works of these establishments, is it really okay to tax them?

The answer; not really. According to the Bill of Rights, ¨Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion¨. This statement directly separates the Church from the State, religion from politics.

Furthermore, most religious and non-profit institutions do not make any income so it is impossible to tax them. And on the rare occasion that these establishments do make some income, it is not a steady enough flow of income to place any form of taxation on it.

The only positive outcome that can come from taxing churches is the amount of tax paid by everyone else would go down. If churches did pay taxes, it is estimated that everyone would only have to pay three percent tax as opposed to the average fourteen percent a year.

Taxing churches is not something that the government should be doing. It is easy to see that taxing churches is unjust as it goes against what is stated in the Bill of Rights.

All in all, churches don´t get taxed and shouldn’t in the future. They are places of worship that are, and should remain, completely separate from from the Government.


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