Sometimes showing off your lavish lifestyle on national TV can land you in trouble…with the IRS. This is what the Preachers of LA may have to deal with real soon.
You may already know most religious institutions receive non-profit status and pay no taxes. That goes for many preachers’ personal income as well, but the Preachers of LA may soon have issues. Because of the extravagant lifestyle portrayed by pastors on the Preachers of LA, the IRS is examining the nature and income of churches across the country.
A lawsuit was filed in November 2013 by the Freedom from Religion Foundation versus the IRS, claiming that clergy receive preferential and unfair treatment in using untaxed income to pay for homes, cars and other personal items that the average citizen must pay. United States District Court Judge Barbara Crabb agreed and issued two rulings in the FFRF vs. Werfel (IRS).
The first ruling agreed that pastors’ untaxed income does give an unfair privilege and the second allowed another lawsuit to proceed that would make preachers report all income received or be charged with tax evasion. The purpose of these lawsuits is to redefine and test the limits of how separation of church and state is viewed as well as religious freedoms.
If you watch the show then you already know about the over-the-top life styles of these pastors. A giant walk-in closet of custom made suits, mansions, Bentleys and private jets automatically put the pastors under scrutiny.
The days of Eddie Long standing at the altar as congregants bring up stacks of cash may soon face greater scrutiny. For many black parishioners of various churches, it is a welcome examination of the black mega church. The lawsuits are not solely directed at black preachers but all clergy. It just so happens that the Real Preachers of LA present a season of evidence against the continued privileges of black mega church pastors aka Pimps In The Pulpit.
What do you think…should these pastors be taxed?