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Question

 

Gramps,

I just saw on our local news that the Mormon Church doesn’t pay taxes. Is this true?

Daniel

 

Answer

 

Daniel,

The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints obeys the laws of the land in which it operates.  If it did not there are plenty of people who would take the Church to court to bring them into obedience to the law. (Some take the Church to court anyways and lose their case)

For legal purposes the Church is divided into a few different legal entities so that its different interests can all be in compliance with the laws.  In the United States, the news article was talking about the part of the Church that is a 501(C)(3) organization.  The requirements of such an organization can be found on the IRS website here.

As you can see from the website, most churches are going to be exempt from taxes.  The LDS Church is not special nor is it unique in that regard.

Since the days of Joseph Smith the Church has also run for profit businesses.  These businesses can not be organized under a 501(C)(3) but rather have to organize under the laws for businesses and corporations.  The Church has done so.  These businesses do pay taxes based on the laws and tax code for such businesses and corporations.

So to summarize the Church pays taxes as the law requires, but for what many people view as the Church (i.e. the non-profit portion), the law does not require it.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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