IRS

After decades of arguing that Scientology did not qualify for tax-exempt status, the US tax agency reversed itself in a secret settlement. What caused the complete reversal?

IRS in the News

Datesort icon Title Blurb Tags
September 13, 1990 Headline: Unsigned Forms Could Cost IRS Millions//Critics Claim The Loss To The Treasury Could Be As Much As $13 Billion (brief mention of Scientology) IRS
July 24, 1990 Scientologists Set Bounty For Corrupt IRS Officials Boston Globe: Scientologists Set Bounty For Corrupt IRS Officials IRS
July 24, 1990 Corrupt IRS Officials Sought Greensboro News & Record : Corrupt IRS Officials Sought IRS
July 24, 1990 Headline: IRS Whistleblowers Sought St. Paul Pioneer Press: Headline: IRS Whistleblowers Sought IRS
June 29, 1990 The 30 year war between the IRS and the cos Los Angeles Times: The 30 year war between the IRS and the cos IRS
June 25, 1990 The IRS sees the Church of Scientology as more of a business than a religion Los Angeles Times: The IRS sees the Church of Scientology as more of a business than a religion IRS
April 18, 1990 Ruling On Scientology Case Favors IRS The Church of Scientology should hand over stacks of financial documents to the Internal Revenue Service, which is studying whether to deny the organization tax-exempt status, a federal magistrate says. The IRS says it has information indicating the Clearwater-based Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization has been involved in commercial operations that should be taxed. The inquiry concerns 1985, 1986 and 1987. IRS, lawsuits, Press, taxes
January 20, 1990 IRS Is Seeking Church's Records The Internal Revenue Service is seeking scores of internal documents from the Church of Scientology in Clearwater to determine whether the organization has violated its tax-exempt status. The IRS has sent a summons to the Scientologists asking for internal documents such as bank statements, minutes of Scientology board meetings, organizational charts and job descriptions. The documents could show whether the organization is involved in commercial enterprises for profit. IRS, Press
October 18, 1988 High Court to Rule on Scientology Case The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a government appeal in a Los Angeles case involving the Church of Scientology in order to decide how far the Internal Revenue Service can go in obtaining and using confidential documents in tax-fraud inquiries. The government launched an investigation in 1984 of the tax returns of L. Ron Hubbard, the church's founder who died Jan. 24, 1986. The IRS said it suspected that millions of dollars in church funds were transferred to Hubbard in the late 1970s and early 1980s in an apparent scheme to protect the church's tax-exempt status and avoid paying taxes on the money. IRS, Press
October 17, 1988 Powers Of IRS At Stake Justices Take Case On Scientologists (brief mention of Scientology) IRS

IRS in the News

Date Title Blurb Tags
December 31, 1997 IRS, leaked. Church, leak. Scientologists, Internet, alt.religion.of, involved The IRS announces that it is to hold an internal inquiry into how the agreement was leaked. The Church of Scientology denounces the leak. Scientologists accuse unnamed participants in the Internet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology of being involved. IRS
December 30, 1997 IRS, Wall Street Journal, Web, front-page story. Newspapers, United States, story The secret IRS agreement is leaked to the Wall Street Journal, which promptly puts it on its Web site and leads with a front-page story. Newspapers across the United States report the story. IRS
March 21, 1996 Tax Analysts, March 15 Tax Analysts issues a press release announcing the March 15 decision that hundreds of "field service advice" memos used by IRS agents be released to Tax Analysts under a Freedom of Information Act request. IRS
September 24, 1984 loses, IRS, 1970-72. Tax Court, L. Ron Hubbard, question. IRS -, instance, tax-related material, IRS, US tax-payers' money Scientology loses its appeal over the IRS tax assessment for the years 1970-72. The Tax Court judge documents in detail how huge sums were moved out of Scientology accounts into those of L. Ron Hubbard during the period in question. The judgement also describes the obstructionist tactics used by Scientology to thwart the IRS - for instance, deliberately jumbling two million pages of tax-related material, so that IRS officials would have to sort it out at the cost of a great deal of time and US tax-payers' money. IRS, L. Ron Hubbard
August 20, 1984 Lt. Ray Emmons, Clearwater Police Department, IRS Criminal Investigator Al Ristuccia Lt. Ray Emmons of the Clearwater Police Department sends documents and information about Scientology to IRS Criminal Investigator Al Ristuccia. IRS
August 15, 1984 Lt. Ray Emmons, Clearwater Police Department, IRS Criminal Investigator Al Ristuccia. Emmons, inducements. IRS, Emmons' document Lt. Ray Emmons of the Clearwater Police Department meets with IRS Criminal Investigator Al Ristuccia. Emmons outlines Scientology practices as they relate to fraudulent inurement and fraudulent inducements. The IRS investigator receives copies of some of Emmons' documents. IRS
December 20, 1976 Richard Weigand, CSW (Completed Staff Work), Henning Heldt, Project Troy, possible. (Project Troy, IRS Chief Counsel.) Heldt, Pr Richard Weigand sends a CSW (Completed Staff Work) to Henning Heldt asking that Project Troy be approved as soon as possible. (Project Troy calls for the placement of a permanent bugging device in the office or the IRS Chief Counsel.) Heldt will approve Project Troy. IRS
November 18, 1975 Michael Meisner, Cindy Meisner Michael Meisner sends a memo to Cindy Meisner entitled "Re: DEA FOI Case -- D of J Data -- Figley". It summarized documents stolen from the office of IRS employee Paul Figley, who was working on Freedom of Information Act requests relating to Scientology. The stolen documents were attached to Meisner's memo. IRS, Michael Meisner
November 17, 1975 Michael Meisner, Cindy Meisner Michael Meisner sends a memo to Cindy Meisner entitled "Re: Justice Department, FOI Suits -- Figley". It summarized documents stolen from the office of IRS employee Paul Figley, who was working on Freedom of Information Act requests relating to Scientology. The stolen documents were attached to Meisner's memo. IRS, Michael Meisner
June 11, 1975 GO, IRS, Church, California. Accordingly, GO, IRS' The GO gets wind of a major financial audit to be made by the IRS of the Church of Scientology of California. Accordingly, the GO decides to obtain as much inside information as possible on the IRS' "line of attack". Michael Meisner devises "Project Beetle Cleanup" for obtaining "all DC IRS files on LRH, Scientology, etc., in the Intelligence section, OIO [Office or International Operations], and SSS [Special Services Staff]". The project proposes the placement of "FSMs" (Field Staff members, or agents) in the "required areas or good access developed", and further that "Pitts" (the code name for Nancy Douglass - a GO agent who had infiltrated the Drug Enforcement Agency) and "Silver" (Wolfe) attempt to obtain employment at the Internal Revenue Service Intelligence Division and Office of International Operations respectively. IRS, Michael Meisner