Freedom of Religion – Part 2

Church Law and Tax 1989-11-01 Recent Developments Freedom of Religion Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M.,

Church Law and Tax 1989-11-01 Recent Developments

Freedom of Religion

Can the IRS assess a “frivolous” tax return penalty against a married couple who reduced their federal income tax liability by 36% in order to avoid paying for “war preparation” contrary to their religious beliefs? Yes, concluded a federal district court in Maryland. The couple had attached a letter to the tax return in question, noting their objection to the government’s use of federal tax money for military preparedness and stating that use of their tax payments for military activities conflicted with their religious convictions. The IRS asserted negligence penalties and a $500 “frivolous return penalty” against the couple. The court, in upholding the frivolous return penalty, observed: “[D]eductions and credits are matters of legislative grace. If Congress has not specifically legislated them, they do not exist. There is no provision in the Internal Revenue Code authorizing the deductions taken by [the couple]. [The frivolous return penalty] was specifically enacted to deter non-payment of taxes based on a taxpayer’s disagreement with the uses to which tax payments will be put. The Court accordingly must find [the couple’s] deduction frivolous ….” Snyder v. United States, 714 F. Supp. 761 (D. Md. 1989).

Related Topics:

This content 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." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

ajax-loader-largecaret-downcloseHamburger Menuicon_amazonApple PodcastsBio Iconicon_cards_grid_caretChild Abuse Reporting Laws by State IconChurchSalary Iconicon_facebookGoogle Podcastsicon_instagramLegal Library IconLegal Library Iconicon_linkedinLock IconMegaphone IconOnline Learning IconPodcast IconRecent Legal Developments IconRecommended Reading IconRSS IconSubmiticon_select-arrowSpotify IconAlaska State MapAlabama State MapArkansas State MapArizona State MapCalifornia State MapColorado State MapConnecticut State MapWashington DC State MapDelaware State MapFederal MapFlorida State MapGeorgia State MapHawaii State MapIowa State MapIdaho State MapIllinois State MapIndiana State MapKansas State MapKentucky State MapLouisiana State MapMassachusetts State MapMaryland State MapMaine State MapMichigan State MapMinnesota State MapMissouri State MapMississippi State MapMontana State MapMulti State MapNorth Carolina State MapNorth Dakota State MapNebraska State MapNew Hampshire State MapNew Jersey State MapNew Mexico IconNevada State MapNew York State MapOhio State MapOklahoma State MapOregon State MapPennsylvania State MapRhode Island State MapSouth Carolina State MapSouth Dakota State MapTennessee State MapTexas State MapUtah State MapVirginia State MapVermont State MapWashington State MapWisconsin State MapWest Virginia State MapWyoming State IconShopping Cart IconTax Calendar Iconicon_twitteryoutubepauseplay