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Should churches pay taxes? Show more Show less
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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 taxes Show more Show 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.
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Taxes threaten the survival of churches

Churches would not survive under the financial strain of taxes.
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The Argument

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.

Counter arguments

Premises

[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.

Rejecting the premises

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 14:39 UTC

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