A whistle blower has informed the IRS that the money that was SUPPOSED to go for charity purposes ….
Churches don’t pay taxes in America….
$100 Billion is a LOT of money….
A former investment manager alleges in a whistleblower complaint to the Internal Revenue Service that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has amassed about $100 billion in accounts intended for charitable purposes, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Washington Post.
The confidential document, received by the IRS on Nov. 21, accuses church leaders of misleading members — and possibly breaching federal tax rules — by stockpiling their surplus donations instead of using them for charitable works. It also accuses church leaders of using the tax-exempt donations to prop up a pair of businesses.
A spokesman for the church did not respond to detailed questions from The Post about the complaint. “The Church does not provide information about specific transactions or financial decisions,” spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement.
The complaint provides a window into the closely held finances of one of the nation’s most visible religious organizations, based in Salt Lake City. It details a church fortune far exceeding past estimates and encompassing stocks, bonds and cash.
The complaint was filed by David A. Nielsen, a 41-year-old Mormon who worked until September as a senior portfolio manager at the church’s investment division, a company named Ensign Peak Advisors that is based near the church’s headquarters.
Nonprofit organizations, including religious groups, are exempted in the United States from paying taxes on their income. Ensign is registered with authorities as a supporting organization and integrated auxiliary of the Mormon Church. This permits it to operate as a nonprofit and to make money largely free from U.S. taxes.
The exemption requires that Ensign operate exclusively for religious, educational or other charitable purposes, a condition that Nielsen says the firm has not met.
In a declaration signed under penalty of perjury, Nielsen urges the IRS to strip the nonprofit of its tax-exempt status and alleges that Ensign could owe billions in taxes. He is seeking a reward from the IRS, which offers whistleblowers a cut of unpaid taxes that it recovers…..
Nielsen’s complaint further alleges that between 2009 and 2014, Ensign pumped $1.4 billion in several installments into the City Creek Center, a shopping mall in downtown Salt Lake City featuring a retractable roof. The mall, partly owned by the church, had also been hit by the financial crisis.
Amid complaints from members about the church venturing into retail, church leaders have repeatedly made assurances over several years that no money from tithes would be spent on developing the mall, a joint venture with the Taubman real estate group.
“I wish to give the entire church the assurance that tithing funds have not and will not be used to acquire this property. Nor will they be used in developing it for commercial purposes,” Hinckley said when plans for the mall were unveiled in 2003.
The church told The Post that through its involvement in the City Creek mall, it had “increased local economic activity during a financial downturn and attracted visitors and residents to Salt Lake City’s historic downtown.”
A Taubman spokeswoman declined to comment.
Hackney, the University of Pittsburgh tax law expert, said the payments would raise red flags if they were indeed made to for-profit entities that were separate from Ensign and not recorded as investments.
While the church may argue Ensign contributes to a broader religious and charitable mission, as a separate corporate entity, it must show that “it furthers a charitable purpose exclusively on its own,” Hackney said.
“Once that money comes in, it’s gotta go back out,”