Of all the advantages of having a tax-exemption, I’ll admit this one never came to mind.
… a Michigan church is $70,000 richer courtesy of the Michigan Lottery. The Covenant Life Worship Center and its 25 members in Haslett, Mich. had one of the second-prize tickets in the Lucky 7s raffle held May 4.
… Michigan Lottery officials say the church will receive the full amount of the prize because it is a tax-exempt group.
Pastor Marilyn Parmelee tells the Lansing State Journal that the prize money will go toward the church building fund, setting up a missionary fund and supporting local community service projects.
I’m not a fan of where the money is going, but it’s their money, so whatever.
We can also laugh/gripe about how the church members decided to gamble and how that sounds hypocritical…
But forget all that for a moment.I would like to know how they get out of paying taxes.
The tax-exempt building didn’t buy the lottery ticket. A bunch of people did. And people are not tax-exempt. So why are the individuals not paying taxes on their divided winnings? Even if the money is going to a church, why is it not all after-tax donations? Why are other winners not using this as an excuse? Did the money to buy the lottery ticket come from tithe income?
The whole idea has given Carl at Reasonable Dissent an idea…:
… I’ve come up with a scam. Here’s how it works: I go to a church official and tell him that I have $1 that I’d like to give to the church, to buy a lottery ticket. The stipulation is that of any winnings, I get 80% and the church gets 20%. Why would I, your committed atheist, want do donate to the church? Because it works out to the favor of both of us…
He explains more at his site.
(via Reasonable Dissent)