We all have that perverted uncle or not so right distant relative who started a small church to get out of paying into social security and having to have a real job. But do you have any idea what the sum total of near tax evasion behaviors of all these snake oil salesmen combine adds up to? Would you believe the GDP of most third world nations?
From Secular Policy Institute:
If religious organizations (ie. churches, synagogues, mosques, etc.) were taxed like for-profit agencies, it was found that this could generate upwards of $71 billion per year in tax revenue.
…even if churches were merely held to the standards of other non-profit agencies, this could generate $16.75 billion in tax revenue per year.The report estimate for the total subsides enjoyed by religious organizations, but they do not account for tax credits like sales taxes, local sales and income taxes volunteer labor subsidy, and donor-tax exemptions.
I guess the good news is, if we don’t end up with any real tax breaks after the next President takes office, we can all go start our own church.