Tax

Organized religion with its high turnover remains untaxed according to an outdated law left over from the days of Queen Elizabeth the 1st

An Australian national poll taken April 2016 showed that 64 percent of people want to see religions taxed.  To break that number down even further we see that only 7 percent thought religion should remain un-taxed leaving 13 percent on the fence or just not fussed one way or the other.

It seems with various church scandals and accusations of various sexual abuses and misuse of power citizens are, getting more and more concerned that the big churches may well operate outside the bounds of or their traditional parish sector.

Add to that some of these churches and religious sectors are turning over multi A million/billion dollar revenue with no one the wiser for where these funds actually go as most religions are not required to lodge financial records.

Communities are starting to see religion as becoming more politicized and are not readily amused by the high profile scandals and various traditional values no longer seemingly being valued by these organizations.  It is no wonder when stories of such scandals and abuse arise topped with what can only be viewed as excessive income from these organizations that the public wants more transparency within the church and their financial workings.

A worldwide poll conducted by Win-Gallup international found that 48 percent of Australians were not religious, 10 per cent were atheists and 5 percent was not interested one way or the other leaving only 37 percent of Australians to be religious.  In the overall count, Australia ranked in the bottom 14 for religiosity.  Interestingly it ranked in the top 11 for atheism so with these poll numbers and the one from 2016 it begs the question why when religion is of less relevance to the average Australian does the government give in excess of $31 billion dollars annually to these institutes?

There are always pros and cons to each side of a financial story and the worst one in this would be the smaller actual non-profit churches would take a hit.  Under the current Australian law religious organizations are exempt from tax which exempts them from taxation in the region of about $30 billion a year – the Catholic Church responsible for half of that amount!

Imagine what good $30 billion could do for the economy!