The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.
David A. Nielsen, a former employee for the investment arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, filed an IRS complaint last month alleging the church should be forced to pay taxes on returns made from invested tithing funds and challenging the faith’s investment strategy, humanitarian efforts and tax-exemption status.
Meanwhile, Nielsen’s twin brother has posted videos on YouTube with a link to documents he said Nielsen took from his former employer to back his claims. Lars Nielsen also spoke to The Washington Post, which was first to publish a story on the IRS complaint Monday evening.
The church responded in a statement released Tuesday morning:
“We take seriously the responsibility to care for the tithes and donations received from members. The vast majority of these funds are used immediately to meet the needs of the growing church including more meetinghouses, temples, education, humanitarian work and missionary efforts throughout the world. Over many years, a portion is methodically safeguarded through wise financial management and the building of a prudent reserve for the future. This is a sound doctrinal and financial principle taught by the Savior in the Parable of the Talents and lived by the church and its members. All church funds exist for no other reason than to support the church’s divinely appointed mission.
“Claims being currently circulated are based on a narrow perspective and limited information. The church complies with all applicable law governing our donations, investments, taxes and reserves. We continue to welcome the opportunity to work with officials to address questions they may have.”
David Nielsen, 41, resigned from church employment in August because, according to the Post, his wife and children had left church membership. Nielsen alleges in the complaint that Ensign Peak Advisors, the church’s investment arm, has holdings worth between $99 billion and $101 billion. He claims Ensign Peak is not meeting IRS regulations for using a percentage of its funds annually for religious, educational or charitable purposes.
Nielsen is seeking a whistleblower’s reward of a percentage of any back taxes the IRS recovers, according to the Post.
To read the full article, CLICK HERE.