A 71-year-old pastor received 8 years in prison for tax evasion recently after being arrested in Arizona. He had a church with his wife and decided that taxes did not apply to him. He was ordered to liquidate his assets and pay the $1.2 million he owes the government. He fled after this order and was apprehended as a fugitive in Arizona. He and his wife will now both serve prison time for tax evasion.
In general, churches and religious institutions are, in fact, tax exempt. But a person can’t simply decide on their own that they won’t pay taxes. There is paperwork that needs to be filed with the government so they can approve your tax exempt status. Without such documentation, you will be subject to taxation. A tax attorney can explain exactly what you need in order to achieve this status.
There is a lesson here for all filers – Uncle Sam will get his money. It may be tempting to try to avoid paying taxes or to underreport your income. But with everything done by computers and with almost every dollar recorded somewhere, it is almost impossible to evade paying taxes. An experienced tax professional can help with your taxes, ensuring that you pay the minimum while staying on the right side of the law. Writing that check may be difficult, but it is far better than facing stiff penalties and prison time because you didn’t pay your taxes.
Burkhalter & Burkhalter has substantial experience helping both for-profit businesses and non-profits with their taxes. We have a complete understanding of the law and will make sure that you don’t pay a dime more than you should. For a free consultation in Maryville or anywhere in Tennessee, contact Burkhalter & Burkhalter today for a free consultation.