NZPA (New Zealand), Dec. 27, 2002
The Church of Scientology will not pay any more income tax after the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) declared it a charity, the church said today.
Announcing its decision on December 24, the IRD said the church was a charitable organisation dedicated to the advancement of religion and its income would be tax exempt.
Scientology spokesman Mike Ferris said in a statement today the decision was a “fantastic acknowledgment of the work we do for our parishioners and for our community”.
The New Zealand branch of the church, started in the United States by science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, was founded in Auckland in 1955.