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Social Issues

Churches are businesses and should pay tax


It is difficult to know how much revenue churches make in Australia each year, but some estimates put it at $40 billion dollars, all tax free.

This means Australia is missing out on about $10 billion dollars a year in taxes.

Not just corporate tax, but also income tax, GST, payroll tax, council rates, land tax, state government taxes and local council taxes.

In addition religions have exemptions from anti-discriminations laws and other government statutes.

Churches are run as corporations, with investments in real estate, private hospitals, pre-schools, aged care facilities, insurance companies and private commercial enterprises.

Consider Sanitarium, which is owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church. It makes almost a billion dollars in profit a year, yet pays no taxes.

Churches such as Hillsong and The Church of Scientology are clearly money-making ventures, and operate more as entertainment organisations than churches, but still pay no taxes.

The Catholic Church is probably the oldest and most successful business in the world, having lasted almost 2,000 years, whereas few businesses have a life cycle of more than 50 years.

Indeed, one would be hard pressed to find a single corporation anywhere in the world that is more than 200 years old.

In my university business studies, the Catholic Church was put forward as the most successful business model in history because of it’s flat management hierarchy (only five levels), and its ability to manipulate government laws for greater financial reward.

Gone are the days when the parish church was the centre of the community, and local priests lived frugal lifestyles. More and more people are moving away from the church, and it no longer serves the purpose it once did.

Instead, it now operates as a giant money-making venture on a global scale. It has become a multi-national corporation.

Millions of dollars are spent on defending employees from criminal charges to protect the church’s reputation. This is money that is donated by well-intended citizens for the benefit of the poor and needy. Take the cases before the Royal Commission into Child Abuse as a prime example.

And not only do they enjoy a tax free status, but the governments gives them hundreds of millions of dollars in handouts each year. Simultaneously, the same governments are cutting back on social security payments and other government programs which would help the marginalised and struggling.

This all needs to stop.

Australians need to write to their local members and the Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, and express their discontent about this.

The churches need to start paying taxes, and put an end to this farce.

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The costs of campaigning for changes to government legislation are considerable. If you appreciate this work, please consider donating so we can continue operating in this area.

The money raised will be spent on campaigning to state and federal MP s, as well as newspapers and other media across Australia, to improve social justice for all.

Please bear in mind that while I am a business consultant, I only work part time due to also being a disabled pensioner. I intend to take these matters to court, but that takes time and money.

Any money raised through donations will be kept in a separate bank account to cover these costs.

I would also welcome any help from legal professionals, or professionally qualified volunteers who are willing to assist.

The costs of campaigning for changes to government legislation are considerable. If you appreciate this work, please consider donating so we can continue operating in this area.

The money raised will be spent on campaigning to state and federal MP s, as well as newspapers and other media across Australia, to improve social justice for all.

Please bear in mind that while I am a business consultant, I only work part time due to also being a disabled pensioner. I intend to take these matters to court, but that takes time and money.

Any money raised through donations will be kept in a separate bank account to cover these costs.

I would also welcome any help from legal professionals, or professionally qualified volunteers who are willing to assist.

The costs of campaigning for changes to government legislation are considerable. If you appreciate this work, please consider donating so we can continue operating in this area.

The money raised will be spent on campaigning to state and federal MP s, as well as newspapers and other media across Australia, to improve social justice for all.

Please bear in mind that while I am a business consultant, I only work part time due to also being a disabled pensioner. I intend to take these matters to court, but that takes time and money.

Any money raised through donations will be kept in a separate bank account to cover these costs.

I would also welcome any help from legal professionals, or professionally qualified volunteers who are willing to assist.

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About Craig Hill

Social Justice Campaigner. Business and Education Consultant. Former Business/ESL Teacher. Lived in China and USA. Dealing with disability. My articles have been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and many other international publications.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Churches are businesses and should pay tax

  1. Let me think about the Catholic Church: parishioner; priest; bishop; cardinal; Pope

    [and I am sure I am missing a level here Craig!]

    Sanatarium is not too far from me – Warburton and its wellness centre.

    “And not only do they enjoy a tax free status, but the governments gives them hundreds of millions of dollars in handouts each year. Simultaneously, the same governments are cutting back on social security payments and other government programs which would help the marginalised and struggling.”

    [those would be State and Federal – with the local taxes and rates you have mentioned].

    Posted by Adelaide Dupont | January 13, 2023, 08:43
  2. Yea, they say religion & politics don’t mix but it always has! Not only that but on the ground not many Churches leave their door open so anybody in need of something whatever can just walk in even if there is no set congregation etc. It doesn’t happen much anymore! It’s very sad. Jesus Christ once said
    ‘ wherever you find a rock or a piece of wood that’s where you will find Him’! Nobody can find Him where there is way too much money & Tax breaks etc!

    Posted by Steve D | January 13, 2023, 13:18

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