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Re: [M & B] Re: Forbes features the recent Mormon Tax Court Case!

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  • Ray Ausban
    Thanks for the article Robert,   A line from it:   ...   This is a typical example of where mormon culture crosses over into mormon doctrine. There is
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 10, 2013
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      Thanks for the article Robert,
       
      A line from it:
       
      >>> The tithing rule is so strict that some have argued that Mormons should not be able to deduct their tithes as charitable contributions
       
      This is a typical example of where 'mormon culture' crosses over into mormon doctrine. There is always some one who will come along and try to 'improve' on what we already have. Needless to say, if the tax deductability of church donations is taken away, tithe payers will still donate the same amount.

      From: rlbaty50 <rlbaty@...>
      To: Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2013 7:32 AM
      Subject: [M & B] Re: Forbes features the recent Mormon Tax Court Case!
       

      Ray,

      Peter's article in Forbes also drew the attention of the Mormon Voices organization:

      http://mormonvoices.org/2348/8-march-2013

      Neat!

      Sincerely,
      Robert Baty

    • rlbaty50
      ... http://www.lindabury.com/news/news.asp LINDABURY DEFENDS FIRST AMENDMENT RELIGIOUS CLAUSES IN TAX CASE May 7, 2012 Lindabury attorneys, Robert S. Schwartz,
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 11, 2013
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        I happened to contact one of Thompson's lawyers and he clued me in to the following statement from the firm:

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        http://www.lindabury.com/news/news.asp

        LINDABURY DEFENDS FIRST AMENDMENT RELIGIOUS CLAUSES IN TAX CASE
        May 7, 2012

        Lindabury attorneys, Robert S. Schwartz, Peter M. Burke and Monica Vir, are engaged in United States Tax Court collection due process litigation with the Internal Revenue Service in a case implicating the First Amendment right of churches to choose their ministers, ministers rights to freely practice their church duties, and the relationship of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (the "RFRA") to these constitutionally protected aspects of citizenry.

        The case involves a controversy over a taxpayer's proposed payment plan for liabilities admittedly owed to the IRS. The taxpayer is seeking to make monthly payments without having to sacrifice the tithe he is required to pay in order to serve as a church minister.

        In dispute is whether the IRS's rejection of the payment schedule proposed by the taxpayer allowing for his tithing expense contravenes the requirement that the IRS collect by the least restrictive means available. Among other arguments, Lindabury seeks to establish as a factual predicate that sacrificing the payment of the tithe would force the taxpayer to resign from his ministerial positions because ministerial tithing is a requirement of the denomination in question.

        Additionally, Lindabury argues the RFRA precludes the IRS from unduly burdening a minister's free exercise of religion, in the furtherance of the compelling government interest in collecting taxes. Lindabury further argues that the IRS can collect by employing the least restrictive means available because Congress has allowed it to collect taxes by means of a partial payment plan since 2004.

        After nearly three years of court action, post-trial briefs have been recently filed by both sides with United States Tax Court Judge Robert Ruwe. The parties are awaiting a final decision.

        Lindabury attorney Robert S. Schwartz comments,

        > "While a tax controversy, this case presents
        > issues within the mainstream of recent First
        > Amendment Religious Clause jurisprudence as
        > represented by recent Supreme Court decisions
        > in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Church and School
        > v. EEOC, ___ U.S. ___ (Jan. 11, 2012) and
        > Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization
        > v. Winn et al. ___ U.S. ___ (April 4, 2011)."

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      • rlbaty50
        ... http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterjreilly/2013/03/08/render-unto-caesar-mormon-tithe-not-a-necessary-expense-in-irs-collection-case/ From: Robert S.
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 11, 2013
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          One of Mr. Thompson's lawyers has made his personal appearance in response to Peter's article on the case:

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          http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterjreilly/2013/03/08/render-unto-caesar-mormon-tithe-not-a-necessary-expense-in-irs-collection-case/

          From: Robert S. Schwartz
          Date: Monday, March 11, 2013
          Time: About 3:00 PM MT

          I am Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper attorney, Robert S. Schwartz.

          I was engaged in the United States Tax Court collection due process litigation with the Internal Revenue Service in the George Thompson v. Commissioner, (140 T.C. No.4. ) case.

          As you all generally know the case implicated the First Amendment right of churches to choose their ministers, ministers rights to freely practice their church duties, and the relationship of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (the "RFRA") to these constitutionally protected aspects of citizenry.

          The case, precisely, involves a controversy over a taxpayer's proposed payment plan for liabilities admittedly owed to the IRS.

          The taxpayer sought to make monthly payments without having to sacrifice the tithe he believes is required to pay in order to serve as an unpaid church minister.

          As per the RFRA, in dispute was whether the IRS's rejection of the payment schedule proposed by the taxpayer allowing for his tithing ran afoul of the RFRA requirement that the IRS collect by the "least restrictive means available".

          Among other arguments, Lindabury sought to establish as a factual predicate that sacrificing the payment of the tithe would force the taxpayer to resign from his ministerial positions because ministerial tithing is a requirement of his denomination.

          Additionally, Lindabury argued the RFRA precludes the IRS from unduly burdening a minister's free exercise of religion, in the furtherance of the admittedly compelling government interest in collecting taxes.

          His payment plan proposal called for less of a monthly payment than that sought by the IRS, and in favor of tithing. With the exception of college tuition, all of the other taxpayer monthly expenses and the taxpayer's monthly income were stipulated to.

          So at issue was tithing verses paying more to the IRS.

          The opinion for its own purposes perhaps does not make that point that clear.

          Lindabury further argued that the IRS can collect by employing the least restrictive means available, the lesser monthly payment proposed by the taxpayer, because Congress has allowed the IRS to collect taxes by means of partial payment plans since 2004.

          That is, agreements pursuant to which the IRS knows or believes it will not collect in full from the get go.

          We believed this 2004 tax law change could be viewed by the TC as dovetailing with the RFRA, which had been enacted in the early 90′s to reverse Supreme Court cases like Lee and Hernandez.

          The TC was not prepared to see such a legal compatibility.

          It appears to me to have read the RFRA narrowly, arguably too narrowly.

          The case is one of first impression.

          While a tax controversy, the case presented issues within the mainstream of recent First Amendment Religious Clause jurisprudence as represented by recent Supreme Court decisions in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Church and School v. EEOC, ___ U.S. ___ (Jan. 11, 2012) and Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn et al. ___ U.S. ___ (April 4, 2011)."

          Taxpayer is unsure about appealing.

          A lot of time and effort went into the Tax Court case.

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