Netherlands: CoS no organization of public interest (ANBI).

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Peter Schilte
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Netherlands: CoS no organization of public interest (ANBI).

Post by Peter Schilte » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:44 am

Church of Scientology is not ANBI

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 Asha Stuivenwold
The part of the Church of Scientology Amsterdam offering auditing and training aimed at spiritual growth, is no ANBI. In the Haarlem District Court he church could not convince that the training is at least 50% charitable.


The Church of Scientology Amsterdam asked a decision to become ANBI with the inspector. When this request was rejected, it was appealed. Haarlem court indicated that it was not in dispute whether or not it was an institution that aims to serve any public interest and a religious or spiritual institution. Parties were also in agreement that auditing and religious training are ideological in nature. But there was disagreement about whether the auditing and training served the public interest as much as the private interest (50%), as required to obtain the ANBI status. The judge indicated that a religious or spiritual institution is not simply an ANBI. It was up to the institution to make this plausible, but the Church of Scientology failed herein, the court ruled .


Private growth

The auditing and training are being offered at substantial and fixed rates. They serve primarily a private interest. Although this has the side effect that the participant after training would function better in society, it was not sufficient to establish that the training for at least 50% serves the public interest. The argument that the institution acted as the dome of any related ANBI foundations and therefore itself also had to be a ANBI institution was rejected by the court. Finally Haarlem District Court found that the inspector did not act contrary to the freedoms of religion and association (Article 9 and 11 of the ECHR). The institution had failed to show that the refusal of the ANBI status actually has threatened the finances or the survival of the institution.

(Translated with help of Google)
http://www.taxence.nl/fiscaal-nieuws/ni ... 8988.lynkx

(Note: An ANBI has tax benefits.)
Additional information: Haarlem Court, 23 juli 2013 (published 2 september 2013), ECLI:NL:RBHAA:2012:2281 (In Dutch)

Peter
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whitesand
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Re: Netherlands: CoS no organization of public interest (ANB

Post by whitesand » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:12 am

Thank you for the update from the Netherlands, Peter. It's good to see your courts have common sense there.

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Demented LRH
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Re: Netherlands: CoS no organization of public interest (ANB

Post by Demented LRH » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:16 pm

^^ Much more common sense than in American courts.
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anondelmundial
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Re: Netherlands: CoS no organization of public interest (ANB

Post by anondelmundial » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:25 pm

whitesand wrote:Thank you for the update from the Netherlands, Peter. It's good to see your courts have common sense there.
Your comment is completely irrelevant: courts of law operate under the umbrella of the laws of the state. Courts do not have "discretion" to do what they might want to do. "Common sense" has no relevance, whatsoever, to the law or to the actions of a court of law.

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bparker230
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Re: Netherlands: CoS no organization of public interest (ANB

Post by bparker230 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:58 am

anondelmundial wrote:
whitesand wrote:Thank you for the update from the Netherlands, Peter. It's good to see your courts have common sense there.
Your comment is completely irrelevant: courts of law operate under the umbrella of the laws of the state. Courts do not have "discretion" to do what they might want to do. "Common sense" has no relevance, whatsoever, to the law or to the actions of a court of law.
Common sense is VERY relevant and yes, courts do have discretion, at least when it comes to determining the facts of the case. No, they don't have "discretion" about what the law says. But the court's ruling, based on facts and evidence presented and hopefully common sense, has 100% relevance as to which law(s) apply and how.

secretiveoldfag
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Re: Netherlands: CoS no organization of public interest (ANB

Post by secretiveoldfag » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:41 pm

The Haarlem court showed common-sense in recognising that auditing serves a private not a public interest.

Someone also showed common-sense in drafting a law which made this decision possible.

And they covered the question of freedom of religion, so they can't be got at that way.

I like it. :)

Don Carlo
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Re: Netherlands: CoS no organization of public interest (ANB

Post by Don Carlo » Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:16 pm

Ex Scientology Message Board has the latest on The Netherlands claiming CoS there is commercial, not religious, with translations from Dutch into English. Snippets:
The Church of Scientology behaves so commercial that they do not belong on the charity list of the tax authorities. Unlike many other churches it is not primarily for the 'common good', so does the Court of The Hague ruled Wednesday. Its sales of expensive courses and therapy is clearly aimed at making profit.

The Dutch branch of the church must ... return the associated tax benefits.

http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.p ... advantages

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I'mglib
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Re: Netherlands: CoS no organization of public interest (ANB

Post by I'mglib » Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:07 pm

This is very good news. Back in 2013 a lower court in the Netherlands ruled in favor of the Church, granting them tax exempt status.

Today that got over turned, and the church loses.

This is a great article, which explains that the court decided that the church's classes cost more than those in the private sector, and therefore they are in it for profit (no kidding).

http://www.nltimes.nl/2015/10/22/hague- ... ee-status/
HAGUE COURT DEALS BLOW TO SCIENTOLOGY TAX-FREE STATUS
Posted on Oct 22, 2015 by Janene Pieters

The Dutch branch of the Church of Scientology has lost its tax status as “public welfare institution”, and the tax benefits that go along with it, in a ruling made by the court in The Hague on Wednesday.

The court decided that the sales of the Church’s expensive courses and therapy sessions are clearly aimed at making a profit, and thus it does not belong on the tax authorities’ charity list.

Scientologists believe that there are two major divisions of the mind – the reactive mind and the analytical mind, according to Wikipedia. The reactive mind stores painful and debilitating images, “engrams”, that move people further away from their true identity. The Church promises believers that they can get rid of these engrams with special techniques and eventually achieve a “clear” state – a sort of super human with a clear mind. The Church offers courses and therapy sessions to work towards this “clear” state, and these quickly cost thousands of euros.

The court ruled that these courses cost significantly more than commercial educational institutions’ average school fees. “If providers on the secular education market had similar prices, prospective students would experience it as prices for top education by top teachers in prime locations.” The court finds the prices to be very commercial. According to the court, Scientology consciously seeks profits to fill its purse and was able to build “substantial wealth” like this.

The Church can still appeal against this ruling, but it is not yet clear if they will. A spokesperson called the judge’s ruling “discrimination based on religious beliefs”.

This ruling puts a provisional end to a long ongoing process that started in the Amsterdam Court two years ago, according to newspaper Trouw. Back then the court ruled that the Church of Scientology does not have a commercial character because it gave courses and therapy sessions to poor Scientologists as gifts. The Supreme Court questioned this ruling late last year, also being concerned about the prices Scientology charges.
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I'mglib
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Re: Netherlands: CoS no organization of public interest (ANB

Post by I'mglib » Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:28 am

Here's what Tony Ortega posted on the topic. Apparently this issue has gone back and forth several times. Even now the church can appeal the decision against them.
Dutch once again find Scientology to be a commercial enterprise

In December, Jonny Jacobsen told us about a reversal for Scientology in the Netherlands, where the country’s supreme court overruled an appeals court, saying that Scientology did not deserve tax exempt status because it was a commercial enterprise.

Here’s what Jonny told us then: “SKA first applied to be considered a public benefit organization (or ANBI) in September 2007. The first court ruling on the bid, in April 2008, rejected the application, and a district court confirmed that ruling in July 2012 before the Haarlem Appeal Court saw things Scientology’s way in October 2013. Friday’s Supreme Court overturns that appeal court ruling and sends it back downstairs for a fresh look. This time around however, it will be the Appeal Court in The Hague that considers the matter.”

And now that appeals court in The Hague has also found that Scientology is a business, charging high rates, and shouldn’t qualify as a church with tax exempt status. This ruling can also be appealed, but it’s not clear if Scientology is going to do so.
"A man may build himself a throne of bayonets, but he cannot sit on it." -William Ralph Inge

Watch the Los Angeles press conference here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/ScilonTV#p/

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Wieber
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Re: Netherlands: CoS no organization of public interest (ANB

Post by Wieber » Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:32 am

Have you ever had an argument with someone who is Dutch?

Good luck with your appeal to this ruling, Scientology.
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