John Oliver starts his own church

In order to illustrate the absurd way in which frauds and charlatans (also known as televangelists) exploit the tax exemptions for religion that exist in the US tax code to enrich themselves by taking money from poor people by promising them rewards, Oliver has created his own church called Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption to see how far he too can push this racket before the IRS shuts him down.

This reminds me of how Stephen Colbert created his own SuperPAC in order to demonstrate clearly how easily the loopholes in the election financing laws could be exploited for personal gain. Colbert had attorney and former member of the Federal Elections Commission Trevor Potter to act as his guide through the process and Oliver has got a tax attorney to do the same.

This is a great idea. I’d like to see how far he can go in copying what the churches do with obviously satiric intent before the IRS moves against him. I suspect that they will ignore him because they simply don’t want to get into a battle about the whole church tax exemption issue.


  1. says

    Then his accountant ought to advise him to set aside the tax money he would have paid, and be prepared to pay a penalty/interest on it, but otherwise just wait and see if the statute of limitations on the tax return expires. I forget the exact number (I think it used to be 4 years) but the IRS can no longer audit your taxes past a certain point. My accountant told me once about a tax cheat he knew who’d file an amended return and get a refund then wait for the clock to run out. That loophole has been fixed. But in the meantime you can bet plenty of 1%ers took advantage of it.

    If they ignored him, they’ve just given him a 20% raise. 😉 Again, as any 1%-er will tell you, it’s not what you make, it’s your post-tax bottom line that matters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *