Canada delivers another blow to Scientology.
“A Canadian taxpayer who made $24,800 in charitable donations to the International Association of Scientologists has been denied tax credits by the Tax Court of Canada because the IAS is not a registered charity.
Nigel Hall argued that he had been unlawfully discriminated against because other Canadians had access to tax credits if they chose to donate to registered charities. Income Tax Act provisions requiring a “qualified donee,” he maintained, violate the Charter of Rights.
But the court ruled that there was no Charter breach because no one who donated to non-registered charities was entitled to tax credits. The statutory scheme of registered charities also did not offend the Charter because no specific group was barred from applying for registration.”
In numerous countries, Scientology's application for tax status as a recognized religion has been refused. The level of recognition Scientology has been able to obtain varies significantly from country to country. The cult-like organization is considered a commercial enterprise in Switzerland, a secte in France, a cult in Chile, and a non-profit in Norway, and its legal classification is often a point of contention.
“Scientology is one of the most controversial new religious movements to have arisen in the 20th century. The church is often characterized as a cult and it has faced harsh scrutiny for many of its practices which, critics contend, include brainwashing and routinely defrauding its members, and harassing its critics and perceived enemies with psychological abuse, character assassination and costly litigation.”
As Scientology struggles in Canada to stay afloat, this ‘Tax Court of Canada’ decision is indeed, a game changer. Empty Scientology buildings across Canada in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, are crumbling and sit near empty.
David Edgar Love