Did you know that, according to research by Luc Grenon of the Faculty of Law of the Université de Sherbrooke, religious organizations enjoy considerable unjustified fiscal privileges which are not justified by tangible benefits to society?
Some of Professor Grenon’s findings:
- Of the four categories of charity registered with the Canada Revenue Agency, religious organizations receive the greatest benefit, according to data collected between 1997 and 2010.
- In 2010, religious organizations received about 40% of charitable donations, resulting in a loss of revenu by the federal state of about 1.08 billion dollars. This does not take into account other tax breaks, such as income and property tax exemptions and partial refund of sales taxes.
- About half (521 out of 1039) of religious organizations state that they invest 100% of their time and resources in religious activities.
- Non-religious activities, i.e. those which may be of tangible benefit to society, count for only about 15%.
Reference: Des milliards en fonds publics aux organisations religieuses : charité bien ordonnée? (Billions in Public Funds to Religious Organizations: Is This Money Well Spent?), Robin RENAUD, 2013-10-21.
Significant tax benefits are granted to religious organizations, regardless of confession. Since these benefits are borne by all taxpayers, the social impact of this state funding must be considered, especially when state neutrality in religious matters seems to be a consensus in Canada. Through an analysis of the information returns filed by religious organizations, the writer discusses whether the public funds received can be justified or explained by the services and tangible benefits they provide to society. The writer concludes that the answer should be no.
Analyse des bénéfices publics tangibles offerts par les organisations religieuses (Analysis of Tangible Public Benefits Offered by Religious Organizations), Luc GRENON