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Charitable Contributions - Part 3

• The Tax Court ruled that a taxpayer could not deduct an alleged charitable contribution made to his local branch of the "Universal Life Church." The taxpayer, an airline pilot, established a local "chapter" of the Universal Life Church in his home, and established a church "checking account" at a local bank. The taxpayer and his family apparently were the only members of the church, and a number of checks were drawn on the church's account to pay for personal expenses of members of the taxpayer's family. In denying a deduction for contributions made to the "church," the court observed that the taxpayer had failed to establish that his church qualified as a tax-exempt organization under federal law, and that he never parted with control over the alleged contributions. Labeling the taxpayer's allegations "ludicrous" and "frivolous," the court awarded the government $5,000 in damages ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1988

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