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View Diary: Fed Court: Ministers now have to pay income tax on their "free housing" (323 comments)

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  •  I should clarify (1+ / 0-)
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    Paying income tax on housing means that the courts are taking a recognized living allowance and treating it as a form of pay and demanding income tax on it. The very same principle would extend to say that a company's benefits package to a worker must always be converted to cash value and computed for income tax purposes and taxed. Be certain that you agree with that standard, that you want private school teachers to have to pay more income tax for the "free" housing that they "get" when they're assigned a house to oversee filled with students, that you want college students who are residential advisors to now have "income" for tax purposes because they received a room, etc.

    Everyone's innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:50:18 PM PST

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    •  The court addresses this (3+ / 0-)
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      ogre, offgrid, TrueBlueMajority

      And so does tax law.

      We exempt certain items from compensation under tax law already (e.g. health insurance); you might not know it, because it's not even reported income under the law.

      The court notes that there's nothing wrong with making a tax exemption - provided it serves a secular purpose or removes a burden on Free Exercise of Religion.

      And as others note above, your other cases - private school teachers or residential advisors - are covered under a separate part of the code dealing with conveniences to the employer.  (E.g. a lighthouse keeper gets to stay in the lighthouse tax-free, because it's obviously a convenience to the operator to have the keeper present when needed.)

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:00:01 PM PST

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    •  Different laws provide those exemptions (4+ / 0-)

      which are not based exclusively upon being a minister of the gospel, but are instead based on the need to be present on the scene in order to carry out their duties.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:40:37 PM PST

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