IRS

After decades of arguing that Scientology did not qualify for tax-exempt status, the US tax agency reversed itself in a secret settlement. What caused the complete reversal?

IRS in the News

Datesort icon Title Blurb Tags
December 30, 1997 Scientologists and IRS settled for $12.5 million. Wall Street Journal -- Eastern Edition: Scientologists and IRS settled for $12.5 million. IRS
December 30, 1997 Scientologists and IRS Settled for $12.5 Million The 1993 agreement was nearly unprecedented and brought an end to an extraordinary battle. Starting in 1967, the IRS had argued that the main Scientology church should lose its tax-exempt status because it was a for-profit business that enriched church officials. The church's response was an all-out attack: filing suits against the IRS, feeding negative stories about the agency to news organizations, and supporting IRS whistle-blowers. The church's $12.5 million payment was intended to cover the church's payroll, income and estate-tax bills for an undisclosed number of years prior to 1993. It is unclear how much money the IRS originally sought. IRS, Press
April 11, 1997 Can no one bring IRS under control? Human Events: Can no one bring IRS under control? IRS
March 25, 1997 The Scientology Problem To many authorities, not to mention alienated former Scientologists, Mr. Hubbard's creation looks a lot like the business of personal counseling or psychiatry (to which Scientology also raises theological objection). There have been repeated reports that Mr. Hubbard told his science-fiction colleagues that the way to get rich is to found a religion. IRS, Press
March 19, 1997 New York Times: Scientology Denies an Account of an Impromptu IRS Meeting The Church of Scientology has denied that its leader and another official had an unscheduled meeting in October 1991 with Fred T. Goldberg Jr., then the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. IRS, Press
March 18, 1997 Why Did The IRS "Convert"? Miami Herald : Why Did The IRS "Convert"? IRS
March 16, 1997 IRS And Scientology Agency Has Some Explaining To Do Star Tribune (Mpls.-St. Paul): IRS And Scientology Agency Has Some Explaining To Do IRS
December 22, 1993 IRS Reveals Finances Of Scientology Bradenton Herald : IRS Reveals Finances Of Scientology IRS
December 22, 1993 IRS Values Scientology Assets At $398 Million Lexington Herald-Leader: IRS Values Scientology Assets At $398 Million IRS
December 22, 1993 Scientology's Assets Totaled in IRS Documents The Church of Scientology holds assets of nearly $400 million, including a cruise ship used as a "seagoing religious retreat," according to a detailed portrait of the group's financial network provided to the Internal Revenue Service. The papers, which fill nine file boxes, were submitted by the church as part of its 39-year-old attempt to gain tax-exempt status. The documents became public after the IRS granted an exemption to more than 20 Scientology organizations October 1. The papers offer an unprecedented public view of the huge organization, which includes two publishing houses, a 2,845-acre California ranch used as a school for the children of church staff members and more than 45 buildings on 500 acres in Riverside County. IRS, Press

IRS in the News

Date Title Blurb Tags
December 31, 1997 IRS, leaked. Church, leak. Scientologists, Internet, alt.religion.of, involved The IRS announces that it is to hold an internal inquiry into how the agreement was leaked. The Church of Scientology denounces the leak. Scientologists accuse unnamed participants in the Internet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology of being involved. IRS
December 30, 1997 IRS, Wall Street Journal, Web, front-page story. Newspapers, United States, story The secret IRS agreement is leaked to the Wall Street Journal, which promptly puts it on its Web site and leads with a front-page story. Newspapers across the United States report the story. IRS
March 21, 1996 Tax Analysts, March 15 Tax Analysts issues a press release announcing the March 15 decision that hundreds of "field service advice" memos used by IRS agents be released to Tax Analysts under a Freedom of Information Act request. IRS
September 24, 1984 loses, IRS, 1970-72. Tax Court, L. Ron Hubbard, question. IRS -, instance, tax-related material, IRS, US tax-payers' money Scientology loses its appeal over the IRS tax assessment for the years 1970-72. The Tax Court judge documents in detail how huge sums were moved out of Scientology accounts into those of L. Ron Hubbard during the period in question. The judgement also describes the obstructionist tactics used by Scientology to thwart the IRS - for instance, deliberately jumbling two million pages of tax-related material, so that IRS officials would have to sort it out at the cost of a great deal of time and US tax-payers' money. IRS, L. Ron Hubbard
August 20, 1984 Lt. Ray Emmons, Clearwater Police Department, IRS Criminal Investigator Al Ristuccia Lt. Ray Emmons of the Clearwater Police Department sends documents and information about Scientology to IRS Criminal Investigator Al Ristuccia. IRS
August 15, 1984 Lt. Ray Emmons, Clearwater Police Department, IRS Criminal Investigator Al Ristuccia. Emmons, inducements. IRS, Emmons' document Lt. Ray Emmons of the Clearwater Police Department meets with IRS Criminal Investigator Al Ristuccia. Emmons outlines Scientology practices as they relate to fraudulent inurement and fraudulent inducements. The IRS investigator receives copies of some of Emmons' documents. IRS
December 20, 1976 Richard Weigand, CSW (Completed Staff Work), Henning Heldt, Project Troy, possible. (Project Troy, IRS Chief Counsel.) Heldt, Pr Richard Weigand sends a CSW (Completed Staff Work) to Henning Heldt asking that Project Troy be approved as soon as possible. (Project Troy calls for the placement of a permanent bugging device in the office or the IRS Chief Counsel.) Heldt will approve Project Troy. IRS
November 18, 1975 Michael Meisner, Cindy Meisner Michael Meisner sends a memo to Cindy Meisner entitled "Re: DEA FOI Case -- D of J Data -- Figley". It summarized documents stolen from the office of IRS employee Paul Figley, who was working on Freedom of Information Act requests relating to Scientology. The stolen documents were attached to Meisner's memo. IRS, Michael Meisner
November 17, 1975 Michael Meisner, Cindy Meisner Michael Meisner sends a memo to Cindy Meisner entitled "Re: Justice Department, FOI Suits -- Figley". It summarized documents stolen from the office of IRS employee Paul Figley, who was working on Freedom of Information Act requests relating to Scientology. The stolen documents were attached to Meisner's memo. IRS, Michael Meisner
June 11, 1975 GO, IRS, Church, California. Accordingly, GO, IRS' The GO gets wind of a major financial audit to be made by the IRS of the Church of Scientology of California. Accordingly, the GO decides to obtain as much inside information as possible on the IRS' "line of attack". Michael Meisner devises "Project Beetle Cleanup" for obtaining "all DC IRS files on LRH, Scientology, etc., in the Intelligence section, OIO [Office or International Operations], and SSS [Special Services Staff]". The project proposes the placement of "FSMs" (Field Staff members, or agents) in the "required areas or good access developed", and further that "Pitts" (the code name for Nancy Douglass - a GO agent who had infiltrated the Drug Enforcement Agency) and "Silver" (Wolfe) attempt to obtain employment at the Internal Revenue Service Intelligence Division and Office of International Operations respectively. IRS, Michael Meisner