636 F.2d 221 (8th Cir. 1980), 80-1499, United States v. Life Science Church of America, Chapter No. 10075

Docket Nº:80-1499.
Citation:636 F.2d 221
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America and Norman Jorgenson, Revenue Agent of the Internal Revenue Service, Appellees, v. LIFE SCIENCE CHURCH OF AMERICA CHAPTER NO. 10075 and Castle Norcutt, Pastor, Appellants.
Case Date:December 15, 1980
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 221

636 F.2d 221 (8th Cir. 1980)

UNITED STATES of America and Norman Jorgenson, Revenue Agent

of the Internal Revenue Service, Appellees,

v.

LIFE SCIENCE CHURCH OF AMERICA CHAPTER NO. 10075 and Castle

Norcutt, Pastor, Appellants.

No. 80-1499.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

December 15, 1980

Submitted Dec. 8, 1980.

Page 222

Castle Norcutt, pro se.

M. Carr Ferguson, Asst. Atty. Gen., Michael L. Paup, Charles E. Brookhart, Gayle P. Miller, Attys., Tax Division, Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., for appellees; Thomas K. Berg, U. S. Atty., Minneapolis, Minn., of counsel.

Before HEANEY, STEPHENSON and HENLEY, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM.

On October 5, 1979 an IRS agent, Norman Jorgenson, served a summons upon appellant Norcutt as pastor of the Life Science Church, requesting information pertaining to that church's possible tax liability for 1977 and 1978. Upon Norcutt's failure to comply with the summons, the government brought this enforcement action. A hearing was held before a magistrate at which Norcutt neither cross-examined the witness (Jorgenson) called by the government, nor called any witnesses on behalf of Life Science. The magistrate found that the records and testimony requested by the IRS were relevant to a legitimate inquiry, that the information was not in the IRS's possession, and that all appropriate notices had been given. He accordingly recommended that the district court enter an order directing Norcutt and Life Science to comply with the summons. The district court adopted the magistrate's recommendation.

On appeal Norcutt urges that the IRS may not examine the religious or financial activities of a church once it has been determined that such church constitutes a tax exempt organization under § 501(c)(3). 1 In the present case he claims if the IRS would examine the organizational documents of Life Science that would be enough to convince the IRS that Life Science qualifies for § 501(c)(3) treatment. Further, Norcutt asserts the organizational documents would be sufficient to convince the IRS that Life Science's only business was religious worship. Finally, he argues that in any case the summons is overly broad.

The language of § 7605(c), the code provision which deals with IRS examination of churches, provides in pertinent part:

Restriction on examination of churches

No examination of the books of account of a church ... shall be made to determine whether such organization may be engaged in the carrying on of an unrelated trade or business or may be otherwise engaged in activities which may be subject to tax ... unless the Secretary (such officer being no lower than a principal internal revenue officer for an internal revenue region) believes that such organization may be so engaged and so notifies the organization in advance of the examination. No examination of the religious activities of such an organization shall be made except to the extent...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP