In Britain, Scientology wins battle over taxes

Government forced to reimburse millions of pounds
The Church of Scientology has won a tax fight with British authorities, a victory that means the government will be forced to reimburse the millions of pounds in past payments the church has made.

After years of legal wrangling, a tax tribunal ruled August 10 that British Revenue and Customs will have to pay back at least 4.1 million pounds ($7.8 million) in taxes that the church paid while its status was in legal limbo, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

The dispute was over value-added tax, or VAT, a levy on the final consumption of goods and services, and applicable to profit-making organizations. Religious bodies are normally exempt, since they are viewed as charities “for the public benefit.”


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