Fortune om CoS’ skattefritak: http://fortune.com/2015/04/08/scientology-tax-exempt/
How much does Scientology pocket from its tax exempt status?
by Chris Matthews @crobmatthews APRIL 8, 2015, 10:35 AM EDT
The church may very well be the world’s most famous small business.
Scientology is a fringe belief system. According to the American Religious Identification Survey, only 25,000 Americans consider themselves Scientologists.
That said, interest in the religion is huge. Last week, HBO released a documentary on the Church of Scientology (COS), called Going Clear, which was watched by 1.7 million people (not counting those who streamed online), more than any HBO documentary in nearly a decade.
The documentary addresses Scientology’s tax-exempt status, which it won from the IRS in 1993. The film alleges that the COS was only declared tax-exempt by the IRS after it waged a decades-long campaign against the agency, which included filing dozens of lawsuits against both the organization and individual IRS workers, and hiring private investors and fake journalists to dig up incriminating information about individual IRS workers.
Regardless of how the church managed to win recognition as a tax-exempt religious organization, that prize is worth hard cash. According to Jeffrey Augustine, author of the blog The Scientology Money Project, the church has a book value of $1.75 billion, about $1.5 billion of which is tied up in real estate, mostly at its headquarters in Clearwater and in Hollywood, Calif. The Church also owns property in Seattle, London, and New York, among other places.