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• A federal district court in Pennsylvania rejected a truck driver's contention that his earnings were exempt from federal taxes because he was a church. The taxpayer had established a church (that had been denied tax-exempt status by the IRS), and signed a vow of poverty which provided "I hereby make an irrevocable gift of all my possessions … and all my income whatsoever, regardless of the form of the income, to the church. Outside employment income is not personal income, but rather gift income to the church, and not of the individual." The taxpayer established a checking account in the church's name into which all his secular earnings were deposited. Checks thereafter were drawn on the church account to pay for the personal expenses of the taxpayer. No taxable income was reported and no tax returns were filed. In rejecting the taxpayer's claim, the court reaffirmed the "basic ...

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1988

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