Mormon critics challenge church’s tax-exempt status
HONOLULU (AP) — Mormon critics are asking the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to investigate allegations that the church uses a Hawaii cultural center to commit tax fraud.
Gay-rights activist and Mormon critic Fred Karger delivered a complaint to a Honolulu IRS office Thursday asking for an investigation into possible tax abuses involving the Polynesian Cultural Center, Brigham Young University-Hawaii and a Hawaii land management company.
The complaint comes after Mormon critics aired television ads last year seeking information that could harm the church’s tax-exempt status.
A church spokesman declined to comment. An IRS spokeswoman says the agency doesn’t comment on taxpayer cases or investigations.
Karger says it’s unlikely the tax-exempt status will be revoked, but he hopes the attention forces changes. He’s also seeking investigations from other government agencies.
The Utah-based church has 16 million members worldwide, including 74,000 in Hawaii.