Church tax exemption is hotly debated. Although several countries require church members to pay a tax, many consider churches as tax-exempt. In discussions related to this policy, a nation’s perception of religious freedom and the common good is pivotal. Does the tax-exempt status of churches protect or violate these values?
Yes, churches should pay taxesShow moreShow less
The tax-exempt status of churches threatens religious freedom and the common good by sowing the seeds of injustices.
Because churches enjoy tax-exempt status, they are generally not required to file tax returns. In this way, the government does not hold churches accountable for their finances. This lack of accountability can lead to unfair wages for church employees and dishonest use of donations. Since churches make a lucrative amount of money, they should be required to reassure everyone that they are using it properly.
If churches are required to have government approval for their finances, the government could restrict their religious practice through forbidding financial decisions that they disapprove of.
[P1] The tax-exempt status of churches means that generally they do not file tax returns.
[P2] There is no accountability for where their money goes.
[P3] This breeds a culture in the church where misappropriation of funds is easily overlooked.
Rejecting the premises
[Rejecting P3] Giving the government access to churches' finances may encourage government interference with freedom of religion.