In his outstanding op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times, director Alex Gibney took a bold public stand in demanding that the IRS and the US Congress hold the Church of Scientology accountable for its sweeping and documented abuses of tax exemption.
Gibney knows whereof he speaks for he and his colleagues experienced firsthand the malicious and vindictive conduct of Scientology while making and releasing his acclaimed documentary Going Clear on HBO. The documentary garnered Gibney and his team seven Emmy nominations and three Emmy awards, including Outstanding Documentary.
Leah Remini is now repeating Gibney’s call in her Emmy-winning A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.
What can you do to help?
You can file a simple one page PDF form with the IRS and then e-mail to the IRS at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
IRS Form 13909 is a one page form that allows anyone – you don’t have to be an American citizen — to report the Church of Scientology and its related tax exempt entities for abuses of tax exemption.
Scroll down for simple and easy instructions on how to fill out the form. As it states at its website, the IRS wants to hear from the public:
Sections 1 and 2 of Form 13909 ask for basic information including the address and the EIN number of the Scientology corporation about which you’re complaining. In the example below, I have filled out information for the Church of Scientology International (CSI). CSI is the actual corporate entity that manages the “Church of Scientology.”
The EIN numbers and addresses for the six key Scientology corporations:
Church of Scientology International – EIN 59-2153393
6331 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 1100
Hollywood, CA 90028
Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization EIN 59-2143308
210 S. Fort Harrison Avenue
Clearwater, Florida 33756-5109
Church of Scientology Flag Ship Service Organization EIN 98-0133545
118 North Fort Harrison
Clearwater, Florida 34615
US IAS Members Trust EIN 52-1840679
1311 New Hampshire Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Church Of Scientology Religious Trust EIN 91-6254980
6331 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 1011
Hollywood, CA 90028
Religious Technology Center EIN 93-0801236
1710 Ivar Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Sections 2, 3, and 4 ask for details.
What you can do: To make a general complaint, check the last box marked “Other” and demand that the IRS investigate Scientology for its violations of public policy: Spending tax exempt dollars to engage in spying, stalking, harassment of former members and critics — and the publication of hate websites that defame and libel former Scientologists, critics, and journalists.
Examples of the Church of Scientology using 501(c)(3) tax exempt dollars to engage in both propaganda and systematic violations of public policy:
• The Church of Scientology International spends tax exempt dollars to pay attorneys to hire private investigators for the purposes of engaging in systematic acts of spying, harassment, and intimidation directed against former members of the Church, critics, journalists, and filmmakers who expose Church abuses. Private investigators are paid tax exempt dollars to follow, photograph, and collect data on their “targets” and report this information back to the Church. This is part of a Church of Scientology conspiracy to attack, intimidate, silence, and destroy these people.
• Paying attorneys to hire private investigators who then illegally purchase the phone records of against former members of the Church, critics, journalists, and filmmakers who expose Church abuses. This illegal invasion of privacy is done in order to have Scientology-paid PI’s track the calls and contacts of former members of the Church, critics, journalists, and filmmakers.
• Using illegal means to obtain the flight and other travel information of former members of the Church, critics, journalists, and filmmakers in order to stalk and harass them.
• Making public the contents of private confessional data of former Scientologists in an attempt to smear, impugn, and humiliate former Church members who speak out against the abuse of the Church.
• The Church of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs pays tax exempt dollars to hire writers, videographers, and social media specialists to create false, defamatory, malicious, and deceptive propaganda in the form of hate websites and publications. This malicious content is directed against former members of the Church, critic, journalists, filmmakers, and others who publicly expose Church of Scientology abuses.
• Paying for Google ad campaigns to promote Scientology’s malicious hate websites and smear campaigns directed against former members of the Church and critic, journalists and filmmakers who expose Church abuses
• Spends countless millions of dollars on lawyers to defend David Miscavige and the Church from the legal consequences arising from their own illegality, e.g. the Squirrel Busters.
• Deceptive and misleading fundraising activities. For instance, are monies raised by the IAS to “defend the Scientology religion” really meant to fund David Misavige as he spies on former Church members, critics, people in the media, and even his own father? Are these monies intended to fund Scientology’s malicious activities and then pay for endless lawyers to defend these activities as happened with the Squirrel Busters?
• Contrary to IRS Code, the Church of Scientology and its related entities do not make their 990 information widely available to the public. CCHR appears to be the only exception and publishes its 990’s online.
To make a specific complaint about the Church of Scientology — such as its refusal to issue repayments on “monies on account” or the way in which Scientology regges engages in misleading, deceptive, or manipulative fundraising practices, please include specific details:
1. Write a statement of facts and include relevant documents. Include these with the IRS complaint Form 13909. When I fill out the online 13909 PDF I save it. I then add documentation in the form of additional PDF’s, When complete, I combine multiple PDF’s into one PDF and e-mail it to the IRS: email@example.com.
2. Be sure to date and sign the form and include your contact information. You may wish to check the box marked “I am concerned that I might face retaliation or retribution if my identity is disclosed” if you have concerns about Church retaliation. Note: You can submit the form anonymously.
3. Send it to the IRS by one of three methods:
• Email: Prepare your documents as PDF’s or web links, and send your complaint form with supporting documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Fax: fax your documents to (214) 413-5415
• Mail: mail your documents to:
IRS EO Classification
Mail Code 4910DAL
1100 Commerce Street
Dallas TX 75242-1198
You can also write letters to Robert Malone, IRS Director, Exempt Organizations and Government Entities. Mr. Malone’s phone number is 202-317-8989. His address is 1111 Constitution Avenue, Washington D.C. 20224.
The Form is downloadable here:IRS.Form.1390958
Categories: 990, Church of Scientology, Freewinds, IRS, The Scientology Money Project
On your excellent Surviving Scientology podcasts. Could you ask your interviewees if they still uphold Scientology as a valid ‘religion’ and whether they can support the Xenu cosmology
Thanks for all you do
Matthew, I wouldn’t ask these questions of my guests as this is not the focus of my podcasts.
However, allow me to properly address your question from my perspective:
1. The burden to engage in Scientology apologetics falls on the Church and not on my podcast guests. The Church’s unwillingness to engage in public apologetics and open debate has always puzzled me. Scientology has failed to engage in a philosophical defense of itself. Rather, the Church reflexively attacks its critics. This is just plain stupid and doesn’t work.
2. My podcasts are not the appropriate forum in which to affirm, negate, or debate Scientology’s cosmology. I simply would never impose on my guests in this matter. Their beliefs are not my business. Conversely, when particular guests have affirmed the benefits of the Tech in their own lives I have absolutely allowed it. I have likewise allowed criticisms of the Tech.
3. I have made clear many times my firm conviction that Scientology should be stripped of its 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.
4. The Church of Scientology argues that its 501(c)(3) tax exempt status is proof that it is a religion. Based upon this logic, then, when the Church loses its tax exemption it will cease to be a religion.
5. Live by tax exemption, die by tax exemption. In other words, Scientology is a religion only in legal terms and not due to any earned and accumulated virtue or goodness.
6. The Church of Scientology long ago legally argued that its cosmology is a trade secret. Therefore, the Church of Scientology long ago made a distinction between its cosmology and its religious status, i.e. Scientology’s cosmology has no necessary or dependent relationship to the Church’s 501(c)(3) status.
6A. Once this distinction is understood one can see that the Church of Scientology is, in its most fundamental sense, a sales business into which has been embodied a salable non-religious copyrighted cosmology which is, in turn, embodied within a larger series of products and methods designed to deal with the claimed implications of this non-religious copyrighted cosmology.
7. When the Church of Scientology loses its tax exemption it will become a business offering a particular product and method, i.e. a fusion of Freudian psychotherapy and reincarnation mediated by an e-meter, This product and method escalates in steps and suddenly morphs into a secret and copyrighted cosmological reveal. Thereafter, the customer is instructed on how to handle and vanquish the negative psychoactive content and consequences arising from the copyrighted cosmological reveal.
8. From my perspective, all forms arise in Consciousness. As such, these forms are tractable and resolvable by various means. Some people find these forms tractable by Scientological products and methods. I have nothing on this except one thing: Such products and methods should not be tax exempt — particularly when they are welded to a paranoid, dangerous, and malicious organization led by an insane mad man.
9. In historic terms, Scientology has existed both with and without tax exemption.
10. Tax exemption is not necessary for Scientology to exist.
11. Scientology wants tax exemption so it can be free to use slave labor and brutality in the service of “out exchange” wealth accumulation. This atrocious and inexcusably malicious behavior does not have to have anything whatsoever to do with its product, method, and copyrighted cosmology. And yet the two unlike things were fused into a highly dysfunctional and draconian organization by Hubbard.
12. Scientology is a series of modules that can be easily deconstructed and broken apart. When Scientology loses its tax exemption, therefore, its inevitable deconstruction will be followed by its reconfiguration into a secular business.
Many thanks for taking the time to provide such a comprehensive reply. And we totally support your position and campaign on their shameful tax exemption
I think that is a subject of interest to see if it is possible to have been – in many cases – a decades long member of an organization which uses “slave labor and brutality” and has committed innumerable human right crimes, and still find it possible to affirm the doctrines and some, at least, of the methodologies
This is a crude analogy I admit but one which Hubbard might have been “amused” by – can one be an ex-Nazi and defend some of the core Nazi “cosmology” – such as the Aryan Superman, or Eugenics, Blood & Honor?
Maybe one can – even in good conscience
Thanks again for your time and your efforts at helping
Great article.There are really some people who abuse their rights. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out an “IRS 13909 Form”, I found a blank fillable form here:http://goo.gl/oa5aLr. This site PDFfiller also has some tutorials on how to fill it out and a few related tax documents that you might find useful.
Simple and fillable: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f13909.pdf
The Tax Code needs to be revised before the IRS will have the tools and funding to investigate organizations like Scientology.
Sign petition http://wh.gov/iPVIe to charge an annual fee of all non-profits as well as provide the IRS the laws to suspend/revoke Scientology’s tax-exempt status. Share/tweet links to the petition and its Facebook page WhiteHousePetition to promote it.
Less than 6 days to go to be a real trouble-maker for organizations like Scientology that use “undue influence” to victimize members or cover-up child sexual abuse. Organizations whose leaders use or promote using “undue influence” should not be exempt from paying taxes.
And Please Please Please remember to include The Church of Spiritual Technology on this list, not positive but its EIN may be 953781769.
To be effective, remember that CST is the owner of Scientology. It can simply close the CSI and reopen the following day under a new church name.
Scientology will exist without tax exemption. However, removing this status puts Scientology squarely in the cross-hairs of civil court and that is a big step to unwinding the abuse.
That was incredibly, devastatingly on the mark and to the point. Such an intelligent, cohesive, and concise reply. Love it.
How much money would it owe the IRS?
The “church” is so protected that there isn’t much else an outsider can do to stop them besides this. We have to do as much as we can and getting the government involved is important to the ultimate demise of this evil cult that destroys lives. Next, remove Scientology’s recognition and protection by the government of it’s “church” status.
Just submitted the IRS Form. If I gave my contact information, will they provide me an update or follow through with a response?
Thank you for sending in your letter. The IRS will definitely mail you a reply letter. The timeframe is several months and may be longer due the virus and the new administration. Check back in when you get your response.
Thanks! I have no ties to Scientology, but Leah and Mike’s show/podcast has ignited something in me I can’t explain.
You cannot buy spiritual freedom. Scientology is the church of the devil. In order to have spiritual freedom you have to be able to give your will over to the care of God as you understand him. You can’t buy that. I wish other people stuck in this “Organization ” ( thats what it is, an organization not a place of worship) could see that. This is so very sad. I am not, will never be, and have no ties to anyone who has been apart of this bull crap, but I will do everything I can to potentially, in the near future, get this organization buried in the ground so new generations don’t expose themselves to this devilish activity.
President Trump issued an IRS Executive Order prohibiting ANY church audit, even FBI “sensitive classified” “DANGEROUS religious cults”.
The IRS refusing to regulate religion’s fringes silences victims and the legislative intent of whistleblower awards.
The conscious indifference to IRS 501(c)(3) religious organization violations and sexual assaults enables predators who are “free from regulation”.
Thank you for your comment. Could you please cite the Trump Executive Order? While it is hard to get justice in religious matters, the Catholic Church has paid billions of dollars in damages for sexual abuses and priests have gone to prison. Likewise, Protestant clerics are arrested almost everyday in America for sex crimes. Do this simple test as we have done:
1. Set up a Google alert with the keywords “Pastor arrested.”
2. Watch the news stories pour into your gmail inbox everyday.
We set this alert up almost ten years ago and never cease to be amazed at how many male Christian pastors are arrested each week for sex crimes involving minors in their congregations.
The second leading cause of arrests is pastors stealing money from their churches, parishioners, or in business scams.
I’d love this page to be updated for the current 2022 year as the forms have changed a bit. Thank you for this!