I was thinking about researching how much of the deficit could be paid down and how fast if we started taxing churches for their regular income (assuming they were under the same laws as corporations and had to set up their charity work as a separate entity for tax exemption) but I have no clue how to even find information related to this. Does anyone know how to find information about church income or possibly someone has already done this?

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You should read this post on the servants of God who are of "humble means", if you haven't already.  I think it would be hard to estimate because so much money is labeled and managed in such a way as to make it invisible in certain respects.
Yeah, I worried about that. Thanks for the info. I'll give it a read.

This is certainly something I have thought about. Today also reading that in the UK chaplaincy in hospitals cost around £40 million per year. Now they are cutting money spent on hospitals and good causes within the community. Think how much money could be ploughed in to helping to stop poverty.

I have a feeling that Governments are afraid to question the Church on their tax excemptions.

Just had a look at article and loved the comments

This is just a tricky issue. Even many atheists I know think churches should retain their tax-exempt status because they do charitable works. It's my opinion that they should have to operate the same as for-profit companies who do charitable works. Consider Burger King, for example. They operate a charity (I can't remember what it's called) but it's set up as it's own legal entity for tax purposes. To say that a church should be exempt from taxes on it's entire earnings just because they do charitable works in addition to their main business of selling religious beliefs would be to say that Burger King shouldn't have to pay taxes at all just because they operate a charity in addition to their main business of selling food.


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