Anyone want to bet that there will be no threats to any Mosque? I wonder how soon Eric Holder will take on the case for criminal charges? Yet how many churches are heavily involved in politics and keep their non-profit status. A sore point of mine since I have left several churches over their rabid political bent. A nice post for a Sunday, isn’t it?
Members of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, told the Topeka Capital-Journal this week that they never meant to break the law back in 2003, when a member of the church started running a daycare center for low-income families out of a church building.
That daycare center closed in 2007, and the woman who ran it no longer attends the church — but she apparently left a mess on the church’s hands.
“She did not keep pay records and did not pay all the payroll deductions for employees,” said interim pastor Gary Roten. “Once this was discovered, the IRS came for payment from Emmanuel.”
The IRS is apparently placing the blame for the unpaid taxes squarely on the church, which has shrunken from roughly 100 members in 2003 to around 20 now, the Capital-Journal reported.
The tax bill: $210,000 in payroll tax delinquencies and $115,000 in penalties.
With a meager $7,000 in the bank, it’s unclear how the church could possibly pay the debt.
The congregation fears the IRS could seize their property, something that the Capital-Journal noted had only been done once before in U.S. history:
Emmanuel Baptist Church’s property is valued on Shawnee County tax rolls at $721,910. Church leaders and members scoff at that amount, saying the church would fetch only a fraction of that amount on the market. A third-party appraisal of the church property placed its value at $261,500.
Perhaps of greatest concern, church leaders said, the IRS “failed to consider that in the entire history of the United States, the government has only seized a church building once in 2001, which was the result of that church’s leadership refusal to pay employment taxes.”
The next meeting between the church and IRS is set for sometime in October in Kansas City, Mo. That meeting could determine the church’s ultimate fate. Members and leaders hope Emmanuel Baptist doesn’t become the second church in U.S. history to be seized by the IRS.