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Christian missionaries who cited ‘God’s will’ to get out of paying taxes ordered to pay $2.3 million

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A family of Christian missionaries in Australia who said that paying taxes was “against God’s will” have been ordered to pay $2.3 million by the Supreme Court of Tasmania.

ABC.au reports that missionaries Fanny Alida Beerepoot and Rembertus Cornelis Beerepoot on Wednesday were ordered to pay millions of dollars in a dispute over unpaid taxes.

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The court, which found that both Beerepoots failed to pay $930,000 in income taxes and other charges in 2017, ordered them to fork over more than $2 million after they couple tried arguing that God did not want them to pay taxes.

“We believe that the constitution affirms the fact that the Commonwealth resides within the jurisdiction of the law of the Almighty God and the law of the Almighty God is the supreme law of this land,” they argued to the court.

The Beerepoots also told the court that paying taxes was damaging their relationship with God because the payments made it seem like they were more loyal to Australia than their creator. They also said that making the tax payments was causing a “curse” to be placed upon the entire country.

“Transferring our allegiance from God to the Commonwealth would mean rebelling against God and therefore breaking the first commandment,” they said. “As we reject God, the curses upon us become greater, but if we return to God’s teachings there will be healing.”

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Associate Justice Stephen Holt, however, countered by arguing that there is nothing anywhere in the Bible that commands Christians to avoid paying their taxes.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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