Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dutch Appeals Court Denies Scientology Tax Exempt Status

In the Netherlands last Wednesday, a Dutch appellate court held that the Church of Scientology has not carried the burden of showing that it qualifies as a tax exempt public benefit organization.  The full text in Dutch of the Oct. 21 decision by the Court of the Hague is available online. As explained by The Underground Bunker, under Dutch law, an organization must show that 50% of its activities have a public benefit in order to obtain tax exempt status. The Dutch Supreme Court had remanded Scientology's case to the appellate court to determine if this criterion was met.  The appeals court concluded that over half of Scientology's activity in Amsterdam involved auditing and training courses offered at high prices. This suggests that private commercial interests were being served more than the public interest.