Discussion in 'Leaks & Legal' started by Anonymous, Jul 18, 2012.
Found a verdict by the Dutch "Hoge Raad" [Supreme Court, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_the_Netherlands ] that - in short - says that one can NOT get a tax deduction from payments to CO$.
Part of the verdict was that CO$ had to prove that at least 50% of the money coming in is spent for the general good.
Google translate: http://translate.google.nl/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&u=http://jeta.home.xs4all.nl/scn/Scn-dem-200401/scn/nl/privacy/uitspraak-hr-giften.html
According to this story the 2003 verdict was the second time CO$ tried to get ANBI status. They tried in 1985 also.
Only recent the law for tax deduction by giving money to a Dutch ANBI [algemeen nut beogende instelling] was made more strict as part of cuts. Maybe CO$ once again tried to get tax exempt status, now under the new rules.
From 2010, the new rules say that 90% must be spent for the general good. http://www.meijburg.nl/nl/kennis/producten/Pages/De-ANBI-Quick-Scan.aspx
If they couldn't prove spending 50% then how are they going to prove spending 90% ?
All this also gives me hope the Dutch IRS will bring yesterdays verdict to the Hoge Raad.
Also: giving CO$ tax exempt or ANBI-status may be a footbullet, as from Jan 1 2014 there will be new rules for ANBIs:
In short the ANBI is required to publish data about its governance and financial statements. I guess midget David Miscavige won't like that.
Dialogue Ireland has something different to add...
More at link.
IMHO both decisions have nothing to do with each other.
The court decided on a complaint by COS, some scilon and/or the Dutch IRS.
The investigation into cults made the Justice department say, in short, that there are no reasons for special interest in cults. See also https://whyweprotest.net/community/threads/scientology-in-the-netherlands.14020/#post-2368066
But hey, what do I know.
The above story states that the judgment is retroactive from January 2008.
Title of the story is misleading though. The judge did not say COS is a "real religion", only that it should have anbi-status.
If CoS has to open and spread their books for close examination, this may end of hurting them more in the long run.
I wonder how they managed to get that so wrong?
Narconon and Applied Scholastics aren't supposed to be part of Scientology. Floor wax, dessert topping...
because the Dutch tax dept hadn't prepared enough to refute Co$'s claims as to the scope and veracity of Co$'s claims to pastoral work/benefit. Did they have the dox from US cases like Desmond etc where they have legally testified to their separation (whilst filing tax returns to the opposite)? Are those US testimonies admissible in the Dutch courts? If so this may be grounds for appeal by the tax bods.
This ^. Simply put, Mike has it wrong.
Time for question in Parlement ,,,,,again
And yet... the Netherlands HAS enacted some important legislation (and some retroactively) to protect against/ make it harder for ANY cult ... not just Co$ ... whilst still staying true to their liberal ideals! They may not have publicly and explicitly joined the dots between all the different authorities - that doesn't mean they are not there.
Seems to me that raising the thresh hold for public good from 50% to 90% and making it retrospective does indeed make it harder for Co$ as Trevanon says. Plus they have to publish some data about the finances openly on the website. Dox loving Anons are going to love that. Co$ not so much lol
Plus (if googletranslate and i read this right) this
may prove problematical for Co$ - pml
Are there still plans for an Idle Morgue? Narconon commisions possibly? IAS donations? How are they gonna shuffle the proceeds/non existent profits to Co$ INT/ IAS/ Insert acronym here- my mind is fucked from the popcorn overlad currently
Nor does any current ruling make Co$ untouchable - if it can be proved Co$ lied to the courts and defrauded the gov't/public. No matter how sympathetic/outraged a court may feel privately, they do have to rule on the facts and arguments put before them!
Trevanon - you do sterling work and deserve CAEK! (tits also if you want them!)
Obviously the dog ate the tax dept's homework.
Just to get things right.
The percentage that must be spent for the public good has been raised in 2010 from 50 to 90. That indeed makes it harder for CO$.
However, the above story said that the court verdict from this week makes it retrospective back to 2008. This makes it EASIER for the cult - that is, more tax deduction will be allowed.
So if the courts decision is the end decision it goes like this:
- 2008 and 2009: CO$ has to prove 50% of their income goes to the public benefit and the gifts will be tax deductable.
- 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013: CO$ has to prove 90% of their income goes to the public benefit and the gifts will be tax deductable.
- 2014 and beyond: same as for 2010 through 2013, and CO$ will in addition have to publish financial data etc.
If the courts decision does not hold up then scilon gifts to CO$ are not tax deductable. The other rules [proving 50% or 90% and obligation to publish financial data] are no longer relevant for CO$ as it won't have ANBI status.
All the above is relevant for gifts to the Amsterdam org.
Other than that there are all kinds of rules that CO$ uses. AFAIK the Amsterdam org has no VAT obligation for the books they sell [which - if they don't sell lots of them - may even not be a bad thing!]. The Nabesa entity about which this thread was started had a tax exempt status which was stopped.
The Narconon clinic in Zutphen uses tax money to "treat" patients victims [money from AWBZ, a government-led national health insurance system for severe cases]. Strictly technically this has nothing to do with a tax exempt status, only with CO$ using tax money [which is a bad thing].
I think there are often misunderstandings about tax exempt statuses. A legal entity can have more than one tax exempt status, and CO$ uses a lot of legal entities. In theory each and every separate entity can apply for every tax exemption. And if it fits the rules, the Dutch IRS will grant that status.
Oh lookie look! http://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:GHAMS:2013:3338
Improved Google translate:
The procedural documents include the 2008 financial statements of the interested party [COS Org, TrevAnon]. Herein is included the statement of income and expenses in 2008. For income, a total of € 619,633 mentioned. This amount is derived from donations from members of religious services, donations and contributions from other churches [! TrevAnon], other gifts, the result of the bookstore and cafeteria and other income. The charges amounting to a total of € 802,941 are attributable to expenditure targets and management and administration. In the year 2007, the sum of income was € 783,345 and the sum of charges € 777,377.
So the org operated at a loss of about € 180,000 in 2008 and about € 6,000 profit in 2007. Anons must be doing something right...?
Another note: the verdict in the link does mention the Hoge Raad verdict from 2003. Also other verdicts from other courts in 2004 and 2010 are in.
Should the Dutch IRS and/or CO$ decide to appeal to the Hoge Raad they must do so within 6 weeks.
Improved Google translation
In view of the foregoing, the court reaches the conclusion that the interested party [CO$ org, Trevanon] exclusively conducts church activities which means it is an institution for the public benefit [ANBI, TrevAnon]. Everything other that CO$ has raised, including recourse to the principle of equality, does not need discussion any more.
"Exclusively" meaning 100%, I should think.
IANAL again but I don't see a good reason for the Dutch IRS to appeal. I haz a sad now.
Ok, so where is this leading now?
I don't have financial statements from the Amsterdam org other than the above numbers in the verdict.
Let's just say that every year the Amsterdam org gets € 600,000 from Dutch scilons [which is a lot given the above numbers].
For the past years these were not tax deductable. If the scilons who wanted to deduct these expenses from their income all file a correction of their previous income statements with the Dutch IRS and their average tax rate is 40% [which is quite normal in our system], the Dutch IRS has to pay them back 40% of € 600,000 = € 240,000. This is for each year from 2008 until 2012, so that's € 1.2 million euros in total.
I guess for 2013 and onwards Dutch scilons – if they have the money – could choose to maximize their spending on the Amsterdam org while giving the same amount AFTER taxes. They would then pay € 1,000,000 to the Amsterdam org. After a € 400,000 [40%] tax relief this leaves the same amount of € 600,000 out of pocket. So from 2013 on the Dutch taxpayer is going to pay € 400,000 each year for little Daveys church instead of nothing.
I guess it could be done by Dutch scilons. Dutch tax rules say that a gift to an ANBI is tax deductable only if it is more than 1 percent of total income of a person or married couple, but it cannot be more than 10% of same income. http://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/w...n_aan_goede_doelen/voorwaarden_gewone_giften/
Say there are 133 Dutch scilons [counting married couples as 1] with an average income of € 75,000. [This is about double the average gross income http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_in_Europe_by_monthly_average_wage ]. Each of them can deduct € 7,500, and together they can deduct 133 x € 7,5000 = € 1 million - € 997,500 to be exact.
This all is a maximum scenario again, it doesn't take into account Dutch scilons waking up under the publicity ever since 2008 and not giving the Amsterdam org as much as they used to do.
I love your explanations - you do it so well!
And yes it may appear to make it easier
We KNOW they are lying liars wot lie. They can't help themselves. Even when they don't have to.
They ALSO have more to PROVE to KEEP it (I wish you had a Dutch Big Beard to help you)
And when they do lose it they also lose it back to 2008 - with interest I hope lol
Does the having to PROVE 90% also backdate to 2008?
That is an awfully high expenses rate for the org isn't it? Do they have to break it down?
Have you got the account Dox? maybe one of the accounts fags would check them over for a looksee as to where they are hiding stuff .. they do like to replicate the same tricks whenever possible. And one thing Anons know is to NEVER accept the cult's figures and explanations at face value!
Give them enough rope and they always hang themselves - truly. To me it seems that the courts and authorities are simultaneously extending the rope while tightening the noose - not just for Co$ but also for ALL cults/fraudsters - and cutting out the cults next standard trick of appealing/discrimination.
Yes it is disappointing if hoping for a knock down punch to Co$ but not if you can appreciate the finer points and long term and more coordinated stategy that I seem to be seeing (and I check myself for wishful thinking). Have some more well earned CAEK!
As for other churches ... well I remember rumours of them conning some catholics, and could this also include CCHR and NarCONon stuff?
Another point that strikes me is how would it affect donations from other countries (possibly/probably/particularly Germany and France)?
I know in the UK some charities get to claim and receive the tax relief on top of the donation (so long as the donor is a tax payer) instead of the donor claiming it - does that happen there?
Sorry If my thoughts are jumbled - still reeling from the latest in the Mosey case
Again: 2008 and 2009: 50%. Later years: 90%. But the court said itself they do 100%, so they can claim that.
From 2014 they will have to publish financial statements. AFAIK the rules for that are relatively simple, so I guess we won't see very much of a breakdown.
No. Only the short summary by the court.
Huh? Don't know what you mean. The exclamation mark I used was a reference to the courts remark the Amsterdam org gets donations from other churhces. I cannot think of other [real] churches to donate to CO$. So these donations must be from other orgs or even the mother church. My thought was that the Amsterdam org needs that support to be able to continue at all. As Jenna said: a small and failing org.
I guess for the Amsterdam org donations from other countries are just income. Wether the donator in that outside country has a tax deductable expense depends on the law of that outside country.
Not that I know of.
You're welcome [and so are others].
IANAL too, but I'll give my thoughts on this anyway.
In principle you are right. In order to appeal to the Supreme Court, the tax office will not be able to bring new arguments to the table. Instead, they will have to argue that the appeals court didn't correctly apply the law.
However, I see one opening to do this, and I'll try to describe my reasoning below.
The appeals court has basically given two reasons to grant them tax exemption:
Auditing is intrisically part of the religious experience of Scientology. I don't think this can really be argued with. But I don't think that's the case for their second reason, which is:
The fees that Scientology charges for auditing aren't of a commercial nature. They provide several arguments for this, one of which (if I read the verdict correctly) is that Scientology gives discounts or free auditing to those who can't afford it. And if you read the corresonding passage of the verdict, it appears to be the crucial argument:
The first sentence talks about the free courses and in the last centance the court concludes this means that auditing isn't offered on a commercial basis.
The weakness of the verdict IMO is in this argument, the key word being 'onweersproken' or unrefuted. This indicates that the cult simply told the court they give away auditing, but didn't provide actual evidence of this. The tax office didn't object, and as a result, the court took the statement by the cult for granted.
And it's precisely for this reason why the verdict by the court is so utterly naive, because of course they were being told a acceptable truth lie by the cult.
The Supreme Court might rule that the appeals court should have based its ruling on actual evidence, rather than just heresay, in particular in the light of the French verdict only a day before the court's ruling.
So I hope the tax office will appeal, even though they didn't bother to object to the cult's lie in court. I for one will be writing to the tax office to spur them on.
Unfortunately, they won't have to do this until 2016 as there is an exeption for churches. They also will only have to publish profit and loss accounts, not their balance sheet. However, since all profits are transferred to the US anyway, this won't make a practical difference. Source: http://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/w..._een_anbi_vanaf_1_januari_2014/uitzonderingen
Thanks for that, I didn't realise that. It means that the the people who give several hundred thousands of Euro's a year, probably won't be able to deduct everything they donate.
I'm baffled about why the 90% burden wasn't enough to keep their exemption revoked. Iirc 10% of their income is paid to mother church for use of the trademarks, copyrights and materials. So....how can they be spending the rest of the 90% solely on public good...????
Previously, the IRS and courts simply argued that the high prices meant that that the auditing was given at commercial prices. To argument sufficed to deny them tax breaks. By lying to the court about giving away free auditing to those who can't afford it, they succeeded in convincing the court that auditing actually isn't a commercial venture.
As a result, the appeals court ruled that the cult is to be given tax breaks simply by virtue of being a religion (for which the appeals court did offer convincing arguments).
Unfortunately, the tax office came horribly unprepared to the court room. There are a half a dozen arguments they can make why the cult is offering commercial services, yours being one of them. However, they offered none of them to the appeals court. It really appears that, much like the IRS in the US, they have grown tired of fighting the cult over this and have simply given up.
That's why I think it's quite unlikely they will have the stamina to appeal to the Supreme Court. However, the government cult report which came out last week, specifically mentions ANBI's and that better monitoring by the IRS would be desirable (they counted 23 cults with an ANBI status). So let's hope they regain their senses, set up a search party for their balls and appeal to the Supreme Court.
If they do, I think they stand a fairly decent chance of getting the verdict overturned, because it's primarily based on an argument which wasn't actually evidenced. This would mean that the case will go to the appeals court again, and the IRS will be able to bring a host of new arguments to the table, yours being one of them.
Unless they make millions of Euros a year.
I've sent off my letter to the IRS in which I ask them to appeal to the Supreme Court, pointing out the arguments in some of my previous posts. I've also given them some additional information which will be very useful should the case be returned to the appeals court. In particular the fact that Scientology uses multi-level marketing should leave no doubt as to the commercial nature of the cult. And although I don't have any Dutch material which evidences hard-sell, I am confident that the English material I sent them will be usefull as well.
So let's wait and see what they will do.
Will they try to say "hard sell" translates in dutch to "helping people" like they did in France?
They would, but if it ever gets to that, it will hardly matter.
You see, the law states that religions are prima faci entitled to tax exemption, with the exeption of any commercial activities carried out by a religions. The law specifically mentions courses which are given at commercial rates, even if those courses are of a commercial nature. So the law is crystal clear in that Scientology shouldn't enjoy tax exemption. All the IRS had to do was simply show the price list of Scientology's auditing and courses.
Scientology has been arguing against this in court since the 80s. Because they always pretty much act like a petulant child they never got anywhere.
This time was different, however. They came prepared.
They had a professor (a real one!) state that auditing is a religious experience for Scientologists and that they should therefor be covered by the tax exemption for religions. The appeals court was very much taken in by that argument and the IRS appears to have simply given in. And that left the court with one pesky issue: giving Scientology tax exemption is very explicitly not wat the law says.
That issue got solved however when the cult offered a very convenient lie about giving away auditing to those who couldn't afford it. This argued the appeals court, meant that the auditing wasn't commercial after all, so they that nasty bit of law actually didn't apply.
Our naive brethren at the court appeared to be so happy with this, that they didn't even ask the cult to provide any evidence and simply ruled that Scientology should be given tax exemption.
The issue in this court case are not the facts, nor the law, as they are plainly on our side. The only problem here is a lack of stamina on the side of the IRS, just like their US counterparts.
The only argument the IRS ever needed, and the only argument it really needs now, is the price list. Additional arguments that I offered the IRS, such as the multi-level marketing and hard sell, are really only that: additional arguments. And even though they really shouldn't be necessary, the IRS would be wise to provide these arguments this time, just to be sure.
But that's in the future which may never come around. Cause the first step is the IRS finding their balls, which they may or may not do. If they do, they have to show to the Supreme Court that the appeals court acted improperly by not substantiating its argument with actual evidence. This would likely succeed, which would mean the case would be sent back to the appeals court. If it gets there, there is absolutely no way that the cult will be able to deceive the courts a second time.
Just did a search for Scientology on the register of tax free entities and it comes up empty:
I think that's kinda hopefull because the six week deadline for the tax office to appeal with the supreme court is almost over. Since they still haven't added Scientology to their registers, it kinda implies that they will appeal.
Story below states that the Dutch Tax Office has gone to the Dutch Supreme Court.
A bit of translation of the above:
"European cities have 'perfect bodies' are: head offices that give the impression in any case it is the sect of the wind..."
In both Dutch articles above, the expression "... sect of the wind ..." is used. Could a Dutch Anon explain this figure of speech to those of us not fluent in Dutch? Thank you.
"the sect of the wind" indeed is a not so good google translate. Translation should be that the cult thrives.
So "hoofdkantoren die de indruk wekken dat het de sekte voor de wind gaat" means something like: "Head offices (Ideal Orgs) that give the impression that the cult thrives."
Please see https://whyweprotest.net/community/threads/dutch-cos-buys-building.100748/page-3#post-2397806
Good. Hopefully, the judges there are more street-wise.
It has been a couple of months since the supposed purchase of the Wibautstraat 112-118 building took place so I thought I'd swing by and see what is happening.
- There are tenants and they have their branding up in the lobby and on the building exterior.
- A moving company was hoisting what looked like carpet rolls to the floor under the penthouse.
- Some guys were messing with the antennas on the roof.
The tenants are social service providers and some designers.
- Snelafstuderen is offers coaching for students writing their master thesis.
- Spirit is family assistance for troubled youths.
- De Viersprong is an institute for personality disorder patients.
- SWA is bicycle parking management and don't mind hiring people with troubled pasts.
- TTIF is job seekers assistance.
- Concern are interior designers.
- Thonik are graphic designers.
Spirit and SWA no longer list the Wibautstraat address on their website but the other tenants still do.
Choose a color via Color picker or click the predefined style names!