Archive Message - 1995

Since some of the materials which describe the $cientology cult could be considered to be copywritten materials, I have censored myself and The Skeptic Tank by deleting any and all possible text files which describes the cult's hidden mythologies. I have elected to quote just a bit of the questionable text according to the "Fair Use" legal findings afforded to those who report. - Fredric L. Rice, The Skeptic Tank, 09/Sep/95 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- From!!gatech!!!!user Mon Jul 10 17:02:47 1995 Path:!!gatech!!!!user From: (Ron Newman) Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Scientology and the IRS Date: Sat, 08 Jul 1995 10:09:07 -0500 Organization: Cyber Access Internet Communications, Inc. Lines: 141 Message-ID: <> NNTP-Posting-Host: Here is a very short and incomplete history of Scientology vs. the Internal Revenue Service: In 1978, the IRS issued Revenue Ruling 78-189. This ruling explicitly stated that "A `fixed donation' paid to the Church of Scientology for general education courses, religious education courses, and `auditing' and processing courses that does not exceed the fair market value of these courses is not a charitable contribution within the meaning of section 170 of the code." The IRS ruled that such contributions are comparable to tuition payments made to a private or parochial school. "Such amounts are not gifts to the school, but are consideration between the parties." To deduct such payments, the taxpayer would have to establish that the "fixed donations" exceed the fair market value of the benefits and privileges received (and then could deduct only that excess). In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld this IRS ruling, in the case of _Hernandez v. Commissioner_, by a vote of 5-2. On October 1, 1993, the IRS ruled at least 25 Scientology-related organizations to be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. On November 1, 1993, the IRS released Revenue Ruling 93-73, which states, in full, "Revenue Ruling 78-189, 1978-1 C.B. 68, is obsoleted." No further explanation accompanied this ruling. These 1993 events produced a flurry of articles and letters in a weekly journal called _Tax Notes_, published by the organization "Tax Analysts" in northern Virginia, near Washington D.C. All of these were written by Paul Streckfus, unless otherwise noted: Church of Scientology Recognized as Tax-Exempt, 10/18/93 pp 279-281 Surrender to Scientologists Raises More Questions about IRS's Administration of Exempt Orgs, 10/25/93, p 500 Church of Scientology Update, 11/1/93, pp 525-6 Letter from Church attorney Thomas Spring, 11/1/93, pp 625-6 Latest IRS Ruling Provides More Good News for the Scientologists, 11/8/93 pp 643-4 Internal Revenue Bulletin listings, 11/8/93, p 669 Letter from Church attorney Monique Yingling, 11/8/93, pp 747-8 Letter from Marty Rathbun of Religious Technology Center, 11/15/93, p 871 Were Partial Deductions for Past Payments Part of Scientology Deal? 12/6/93 pp 1144-45 Recap -- What We Know About the Scientology Closing Agreement, 1/10/94, pp 131-2 IRS Should Fully Explain Its Settlement With Church of Scientology, by Jerome Kurtz, chair of the Committee on Taxation of the New York City Bar Association (this is a copy of a letter that Kurtz sent to the IRS Commissioner), 6/27/94 pp 1783-4 Do Scientologists get a break not extended to other churches? by Fred Stokeld, 4/17/95 pp 324-325 "Tax Analysts" filed an FOIA request on November 10, 1993, whic they published in another of their journals, _The Exempt Organization Tax Review_ of December 1993, page 1016. I do not know the current status of this FOIA filing. --------------------- Tax Analysts Files FOIA Request for Scientology Closing Agreement November 10, 1993 Mr. Randy Hartman Chief, FOIA/PA Section Internal Revenue Service 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20224 Dear Mr. Hartman: This is a request for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) records under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. Section 552. On behalf of my client, Tax Analysts, publisher of _Tax Notes_, I request copies of the following records: 1. The Closing Agreement or Agreements between the IRS and one or more Church of Scientology organizations, which preceded IRS's issuance of exemption ruling letters to at least 25 such organizations on October 1, 1993. The requested Closing Agreement or Agreements were executed by IRS and the organizations, who were represented by Monique E. Yingling, Esq. of Zuckert, Scoutt & Rasenberger, and Thomas C. Spring, Esq. They also preceded Rev. Rul. 93-73 (November 1, 1993), which "obsoleted" Rev. Rul. 78-189, a revenue ruling that the United States Supreme Court had upheld in _Hernandez vs. Commissioner_, 490 U.S. 680 (1989). Disclosure of the requested records is required on several grounds: (a) Closing Agreements include reasoning and explanation of the IRS's interpretation of applicable provisions of law. In this case they doubtless contain an explanation of the IRS's reasoning behind its change in position from that in Rev. Rul. 78-189, and how that change might square with the decision in _Hernandez_. It therefore is the same kind of IRS "secret law" that the courts held disclosable in such cases as _Taxation With Represntation Fund v. IRS_, 646 F.2d 666 (D.C. Cir. 1981), and _Tax Analysts & Advocates v. IRS_, 505 F.2d 350 (D.C. Cir. 1974), on remand, 405 F. Supp. 1065 (D.D.C. 1975). (b) The Closing Agreement, although it is in the nature of settlement of a controversy, loses any claim for exemption because by necessity it was shared with the opposing party. See _County of Madison v. U.S. Dept. of Justice_, 641 F.2d 1036 (1st Cir. 1981). (c) No claim of exemption lies under section 6013 of the Code. Information relating to exempt organizatoins is divested of confidentiality. The rulings published on October 1, 1993, establish the nonconfidential exempt organization character of materials relating to Churches of Scientology. 2. All other Closing Agreements relating to exempt organizations executed on or after December 31, 1992. These Agreements are disclosable for all three reasons stated in part 1 above. 3. All Closing Agreements relating to taxpayers that are not exempt organizations, executed on or after December 31, 1992, but with the taxpayer names and other taxpayer identifying information deleted. These Closing Agreements with taxpayer identifying information deleted are disclosable for the reasons stated in 1(a) and (b), and under the principle applied in _U.S. Dept. of the Air Force v. Rose_, 425 U.S. 352 (1976), and codified in section 6110. 4. Tax Analysts will pay the reasonable charges for duplication of the records. Tax Analysts is a media requester as defined in 26 C.F.R. Section 601.702(f)(3)(i)(B); see _Tax Analysts v. U.S. Dept. of Justice_, 965 F.2d 1092, 1095-96 (D.C. Cir. 1992), and therefore may only be charged costs of duplication, _id._ (ii) (B). I look forward to your response within 10 working days. Sincerely yours, William A. Dobrovir, Esq. Washington, D.C. -- Ron Newman Web:


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