New Zealand Megachurch Will Lose Tax Exempt Status for Failing to File Returns

Even when U.S. churches go out of their way to taunt the IRS into investigating them, like by sending in video of a pastor endorsing a political candidate, the IRS has rarely taken any action much less revoked their tax exempt status.

But New Zealand’s Charities Registration Board isn’t messing around in the case of Destiny Church. The CRB will revoke the church’s tax-exempt designation on December 20 because of its “persistent failure” in filing annual tax returns.

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Church spokeswoman Anne Williamson said the charities were “very disappointed with the incompetent way this has been handled by the board and with the decision that has been advised, which is clearly wrong”.

They were asking for the decision to be recalled and an apology issued, she said.

It’s very sad indeed. Do you see those tears on my face? Me neither.

The church, run by Brian and Hannah Tamaki (above), is no stranger to controversy of their own making. And their status as a “charity” has frequently been in doubt. In 2014, the Tamakis bought a luxury car worth NZ$100,000 (about 78,000 U.S. dollars) using church money. They once spread cash all over the church floor. Hannah owns a $90,000 diamond ring. The couple once broadcast their extravagant vacation on social media. (That was in 2015 and the church was getting hit with overdue tax filing notices even then.)

Oh, and a year ago, Brian Tamaki blamed natural disasters on gay people and other “sinners.”

They’ve been cocky and uncharitable for far too long. It’s about time it all finally caught up with them. And remember this: They’re in trouble because they’re being treated fairly, just like every other public If only churches that broke the rules in the U.S. also lost their non-profit status.

(Thanks to Dave for the link)

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