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?
No, churches should not pay taxesShow moreShow less
The tax-exempt status of churches protects religious freedom and the common good by making it easier for churches to survive and do positive work for their community.
If churches were required to pay taxes, the donations they receive might not be considered tax-deductible, which would threaten their primary means of financial support - donations from participants. Also, a tax would place a new financial burden on the shoulders of religious people. If church members were required to pay a tax, they would be paying personal and church taxes. Because of this, citizens could stop attending religious services.
A decline in attendance would increase religious institutions' financial problems, and eradicate less wealthy churches. The church tax would also become a class issue. If only the wealthy can afford to pay such a tax, the poor would be unfairly ostracized from religious institutions. For these reasons, the church tax threatens the survival of religious institutions.
[P1] Churches paying taxes would severely threaten their income or pass the costs on to attendees.
[P2] Both of these scenarios would threaten the existence of the churches.