May 28, 2015, Forbes publishes, “Man Gets Prison For Inventing His Own Church, And It’s Not Scientology – A Utah man has been sentenced to two years in prison over a church the feds say was a tax avoidance scheme. Paul Ben Zaccardi plead guilty to one count of tax evasion, and five counts of filing false claims for income tax refunds.”
Zaccardi tried to pay his tax bill with bogus U.S. Treasury bonds and transferred title of his house to a church he formed. Like many other individuals and organizations, he isn’t the first taxpayer to figure out that IRS church or charitable tax exemption is a windfall treasure.
Sept. 25, 2014, following a week-long trial, Timothy Dale Jackson, 50, an orthopedic physician from Pass Christian, Mississippi, was found guilty on four counts of felony tax evasion and one count of obstruction of the due administration of the internal revenue laws, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis and Special Agent in Charge Gabriel L. Grchan with IRS Criminal Investigation. He was sentenced to more than 6 years in prison.
“The orthopedic physician funneled his practice income through the “Church of Compassionate Service.” Dr. Jackson took a vow of poverty, claiming that as a minister, he was tax exempt. He had a successful practice but hadn’t filed tax returns or paid taxes since 2003.”
‘Compassionate Service Church’ members donated to the church all their money and worldly possessions. Even the Ministers signed over their paychecks to the Church. In return, the Church gave them food-stamp type debit cards for living expenses. “When he was sentenced, the 50-year-old Dr. Jackson received 75 months of incarceration, and was ordered to pay taxes and interest of $806,983, plus a $12,500 fine.”
For 25 years, I.R.S. agents had branded Scientology a commercial enterprise and refused to give it the tax exemption – then, in 1993 the IRS caved and granted Scientology tax-exempt status. ”The war is over,” David Miscavige proclaimed to a huge crowd of members and roaring applause.
The IRS reversal shocked tax experts and saved the church tens of millions of dollars in taxes. The New York Times published, “Scientology’s lawyers hired private investigators to dig into the private lives of I.R.S. officials and to conduct surveillance operations to uncover potential vulnerabilities, according to interviews and documents. One investigator said he had interviewed tenants in buildings owned by three I.R.S. officials, looking for housing code violations. He also said he had taken documents from an I.R.S. conference and sent them to church officials and created a phony news bureau in Washington to gather information on church critics. The church also financed an organization of I.R.S. whistle-blowers that attacked the agency publicly.”
Charitable Organizations— Definition in part, states: “Reg. 1.501(c)(3)–1(d)(2) provide that the term “charitable” is used in IRC 501(c)(3) in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor and distressed or of the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erection or maintenance of public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening of the burdens of government; promotion of social welfare.”
The concept of charity was developed in the common law long before the term was incorporated into the Internal Revenue Code. “The Service applied the general law of charity, which holds that providing a community recreational facility is a charitable activity only if all members of the community are eligible for direct benefits, by organizations designed to accomplish any of the above purposes, or lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; or combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.”
Indeed, Scientology has erected countless giant buildings around the globe called ‘Ideal Orgs’ where the community masses can gather for the advancement of religion, education or science. However, when visiting many of these ‘Orgs’ – they sit empty with very few or no members or public walking in or out. Even paid staff are down to one or two at many of these commercial looking buildings that appear more like commercial book stores than a ‘house of worship.’
With the Scientology being a convicted criminal organization, and currently facing more than 30 lawsuits against the so-called church and their drug rehabs, Narconon, many wonder how much longer before the IRS revokes Scientology’s charitable tax exemption in the United States. As Forbes published today, “The Non-profit Risk Management Center reports that over one hundred 501(c)(3) organizations lose their tax-exempt status each year. The reasons vary, but in the case of Scientology, many wonder how it could have collected its church status in the first place.”
In the embedded YouTube video, ‘Gabe Cazares former mayor of Clearwater, Florida and critic of L. Ron Hubbard & Scientology’ – Cazares explains how Scientology expanded their way into Clearwater under secrecy and lies, and calls the organizations new ‘Super Power Building’ “the biggest brain-washing factory in the world in downtown Clearwater.”