In 1983, the Universal Life Church (ULC) adopted a "revised receipts and disbursements" program for amounts received as "charitable contributions." Under the revised program, donors sent contributions along with a listing of personal debts. When the ULC received such a form with a contribution, it would issue checks payable directly to the donor's creditors, Donors were charged a fee for the service, and claimed a charitable contribution deduction for the amount of their "donation" to the church. The United States Tax Court recently disallowed a $10,000 charitable contribution made by a donor under this program, concluding that there was no evidence that the "contributed funds" were for the payment of any church-related expenses. The court also assessed a negligence penalty, and awarded $5,000 in damages to the federal government on the basis of the "flagrant and abusive" nature of the program. Svedahl v. Commissioner, 89 T.C. — (1987).
Church Law & Tax Report is published six times a year by Christianity Today International, 465 Gundersen Dr. Carol Stream, IL 60188. (800) 222-1840. © 1987 Christianity Today International. firstname.lastname@example.org All rights reserved. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Annual subscription: $69. Subscription correspondence: Church Law & Tax Report, PO Box 37012, Boone, IA 50037-0012.