Phoenix Humanists claiming tax break to challenge tax code exemption for churches

By Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix has decided to take aim at part of the federal tax code that gives members of the clergy special tax exemptions that the group feels should also apply to it.

The tax code provision in question allows churches to give their pastors housing allowances or use of a church-owned home tax-free. Critics have said it has allowed for mega-churches to exclude millions of dollars from their pastors’ taxable income, since there is no limit in the tax code. 

Now, the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix is looking to use the same exemption in the wake of a recent court ruling that shot down a different organization’s push to challenge the tax code. 

“We perform a lot of the same functions that churches do,” Executive Director Luke Douglas told Arizona Mirror. “This case is about starting a conversation.” 


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