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Income Tax Keyed to Graetz
Hernandez v. Commissioner
Citation:490 U.S. 680 (1989)
A member of the Church of Scientology attempted to claim a deduction under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code for a charitable deduction made to the church. The church had a fixed donation system set up for two services referred to as “auditing” and “training.” These services rendered by the church came with different price points, depending on the extent and intensiveness of services desired by the church-member. The church marketed these services heavily and also issued “account cards” for members to track their remaining balance to pay for services. Refunds would be issued to members for prepaid services which had not been used, less an administrative fee. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue disallowed the deduction claimed by Petitioner, finding that payment was in exchange for services rendered and thereby not charitable in nature.
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