FSM Tax Break!

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FSM Tax Break!

Postby S.O.L on Fri May 26, 2006 4:00 pm

Hello all, new here. Now to the meat ball of my post. I remember some time back I was speaking with a fellow (wheather this next bit is truth or not) and he said that he knew of some ppl that started a church, and church's get tax breaks! So do those that hold administrative positions/work for said church. Can anyone verify this or am I just being an idiot like a religious zelot? May the FSM smile upon you!
"Quiquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur." ("Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.")
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Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Fri May 26, 2006 4:53 pm

daftbeaker wrote:But if I stop bugging you I'll have to go back to arguing with Qwerty about whether beauty is truth and precisely what we both mean by 'purple' :moon:


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tax status

Postby jasonpeck on Sun May 28, 2006 12:45 am

Unfortunately, the federal government is the ultimate judge of which religions are legitimate and which are not. They do this by bestowing 501(c)(3) status on whom they choose.
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Postby The Meromorph on Sun May 28, 2006 1:32 pm

The Universal Life Church will ordain anyone for free. They also supply, for a reasonable price, materials designed to support a 'ministry'.
They do not intend it as a tax dodge! If you want to claim tax-exempt status, it can only be for the 'ministry' portion of your expenses and income, and you'd better be doing some serious ministering to people. The IRS is not dumb, and far from powerless.
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Postby daniel on Mon May 29, 2006 1:44 am

While tax fraud is a serious business that can result in hard prison time, there's certainly something to be said for establishing Pastafarianism as a recognized religion, and ordaining ministers. Said ministers could perform marriages, and whatever else ministers get to do. I think it'd be cool to be an ordained pastafarian minister.
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Postby SiX on Wed May 31, 2006 7:51 pm

You can also become a ULC congregation and send all your financial data to them for a very small fee. The IRS cannot see it without good cause. Keep good records and make sure everything is legitimate and you'll be fine. Just follow the rules of the IRS. I've looked into this and considered it many times. I'll be doing it sometime in the future, though.
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Postby Alpaca on Wed May 31, 2006 8:10 pm

Sorry, but it's been decided a while back that we don't wanna go through ULC.
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Postby SiX on Wed May 31, 2006 8:23 pm

Understood. It would be better if you were your own entity. It really isn't that difficult and the IRS definition of a church could be easily met. It's just a lot of paperwork to start with. The worst part being the financial projections.

I've started a non-profit and have the paperwork filled out but lack the $500 to send in with it. Already non-profit with Washington State, that was easy to do. And, Washington is one that allows one director on a Board, essentially controlling the business with one person. Not sure about Oregon's laws though, but there are other states that allow the same thing. Perhaps I'll do more reasearch. (I'm one of those people that thrive on numbers and research-not sure how that happened.)
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Postby Alpaca on Wed May 31, 2006 8:26 pm

If you could get us more information on the subject, that would be great. Right now, our prophet is kinda absent, so... y'know. Not much happening.
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Postby SiX on Wed May 31, 2006 11:07 pm

The basic definition can be found here: IRS Definition One thing that is great about churches is that they don't have to file a 1023 (application for exemption) or a 990 (annual report). (This is a little different if you have payroll.) IRS regulationjs define religios worship as: "What constitutes conduct of religious worship or the ministration of sacerdotal functions depends on the interests and practices of a particular religious body constituting a church." Basically you set the rules and practice them.

I also have a great book, (2005 data) Church and Nonprofit Financial Guide Reads like a tax book, no matter what they say about easy to understand. You pretty much have to have a financial mind set for any of this junk. You can probably find it at your library as well as many other books for starting a nonprofit. There are advantages and disadvantages of both. I'm more than happy to lend a hand here. I'm not an expert, but I know a few things.

We went nonprofit instead of a church because it gave us the ability to present in schools even though we 'preach' the Code of Chivalry. Ah, I'm ahead of myself. We teach about historical combat and knighthood in the middle ages and the society of the time. Chivalry was a very important part of society and the knight. We could have gone the route of being a church of chivalry, but decided against it.

I'd have to dig a little deeper and re-read some things to make sure I'm giving the best answers to you. It's been a while since I've researched it and have concentrated so much on the nonprofit stuff lately that the church stuff is a little buried.

I'll PM you with my email and contact info, or we can continue to discuss things here.
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Postby Fredrick2003 on Sat Jun 10, 2006 3:56 am

It would be awesome if you we're recognized as a "real" religion.
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