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Anne_C
Anne_C, Tax Attorney
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Experience:  Attorney, JD awarded with Certification in Tax Law
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Is a catholic church that is closed and not in use no longer

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Is a catholic church that is closed and not in use no longer tax exempt. Please reference the tax law. Furthermore is the catholic church tax exempt and its properties tax exempt.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Anne_C replied 3 years ago.

Good Evening -

I'm sorry, but the question you have asked is extremely complex and it cannot be answered in this limited forum. I am happy to briefly explain why, and give you some very limited guidance on the issue.

(Q1) Is a catholic church that is closed and not in use no longer tax exempt.

(A1) The term 'catholic', without being capitalized, generally refers to a congregation of like minded individuals. For example, the term 'catholic' is not capitalized in the Nicene Crede.

Assuming that you intend to refer to Catholic, capitalized, the Catholic church itself is predominantly Roman rite, but the Holy Roman Empire is not limited to Roman rite churches.

If you are referring to what is commonly known as the Catholic Church in the United States, closing a church does not change its tax status.

(Q2) Please reference the tax law.

Here is a link to the 292 Tax Law decisions using the term 'Catholic': http://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_q=Catholic&n um=100&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_occt=any&as_sauthors=&as_publication=&as_ylo=&as_yhi=&as_sdt=3&as_sdtf=55%2C192&as_sdts=5&btnG=Search+Scholar&hl=en

(Q3) Furthermore is the catholic church tax exempt and its properties tax exempt.

(A3) If you are talking about the Roman Catholic Church, the answer is yes, it is tax exempt - but that tax exempt status is frequently challenged. The property tax status is not often challenged, because taxability of the property depends on taxability of the owner.

Anne_C, Tax Attorney
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2302
Experience: Attorney, JD awarded with Certification in Tax Law
Anne_C and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I thank you for your initial answer however please let me reask the question in an attempt to get a more concise response.

 

The Catholic Bishop has closed churches in our diocese. The Bishop is petitioning Rome to keep the churches closed because if Rome directs the Bishop to reopen the churches he alledges the closed churches would no longer be tax exempt. We "the congregation" believe his allegation is incorrect or at best flawed. Please can you cite the tax code or law that you base your opinion on, thank you.

Expert:  Anne_C replied 3 years ago.

I am sorry, but JustAnswer's terms of service do not allow me to offer a legal opinion.

I also note that your second question is also substantially different than the first question. It appears that you are referring to the Catholic Church in the United States, which is a hierarchical Church, not a congregational Church. As a hierarchical church, the leadership can make decisions about the disposition of church assets that change the tax characterization of its property. Under what circumstances those are made is a mater of internal Church law protected by the Second Amendment.

Here is a list of cases in Pennsylvania on the issue of tax exempt status for church property: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=church+tax+exempt+closed+property&as_sdt=4%2C39&as_ylo=&as_vis=0

Anne_C, Tax Attorney
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2302
Experience: Attorney, JD awarded with Certification in Tax Law
Anne_C and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

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