Skip to comments.IRS Looking at Benny Hinn Organization
Posted on 07/06/2005 10:19:01 AM PDT by pkajj
DALLAS (AP) _ The Internal Revenue Service is looking into the operations and finances of televangelist Benny Hinn's organization, according to a published report.
The IRS wouldn't discuss the case, but a representative for Benny Hinn Ministries confirmed to The Dallas Morning News that the inquiry is under way, characterizing it as routine.
Critics have argued that Hinn improperly profits from a ministry that hasn't met the IRS definition of a church for years. The ministry is estimated to raise more than $100 million a year.
But his public relations contractor dismissed the possibility that tax exemptions could be at risk. Hinn spokesman Ronn Torossian said the ministry has "fully cooperated with the IRS" and is not being audited.
Hinn's ministry, formally renamed the World Healing Center Church in 2000, has had its administrative and mail-processing headquarters in Grapevine since a year earlier. Hinn, 52, and his family live in California.
According to documents provided to the newspaper by a watchdog group, the inquiry into the ministry began a year ago and the IRS has asked for dozens of detailed answers. The Trinity Foundation has investigated Hinn for more than a decade.
Hinn ministry responses to IRS questions and a purported salary list for ministry officials are among documents that Trinity members said they salvaged from trash bins outside Hinn-related offices.
The salary document lists Hinn as CEO and his annual earnings as $1.325 million. Attorneys for the ministry, in a letter to The News, said the document was either a fake or had been stolen.
The newspaper found that another watchdog group's complaint to the IRS _ that the ministry lacks financial oversight and independent governance _ may have led the agency to question the operation through what's called a church tax-inquiry letter.
Wall Watchers, a North Carolina-based advocacy group for religious donors, recently issued an alert about the Hinn ministry through its Ministry Watch Web site.
Wall Watchers sent a letter to the IRS early last year calling for an investigation of the Hinn Ministry, said Rod Pitzer, Wall Watchers' research director.
Hinn and his attorneys, who declined to be interviewed, have maintained the ministry uses proper accounting.
Good! Put that charlatan out of business, stop him from fleecing the gullible.
Sounds like Benny will be getting the enema this time and it won't be for God.
They have a lot more time on their hands now that Gene Scott is dead.
Sorry to hear this, I used to love it when he would tap Little Jackie Wright on the head.
ROFL! Which is it, is it a fake, or was it stolen? Shouldn't the lawyer know one way or the other? Sheesh.
My mother was taken in by that charletan when she had cancer. I'm glad he inspires faith in people, but this man is a joke.
Huh? Who is Gene Scott and what does he have to do with Hinn?
Look out, IRS. Benny will get out his Holy Ghost machine gun, and he will pronounce a curse on you for "putting your mouth on his ministry." Touch not God's [self-]annointed, or you will die!
I can just picture Benny railing on television against the evil IRS now. HA!
Forget Benny Hinn. When are they going after Kerry? Remember when Edwards said he would make quadriplegics like Christopher Reeve "get up out of their chairs and walk again."
Hinn and his top people stayed at the most expensive hotel in the country - Shangri-La Makati, where a single room goes for $150 USD a night and it goes up from there. I know because I was staying there at the time his advance people came through.
Problem is, Hinn's concept of "faith" is not the Biblical concept, but is straight out of occultic metaphysics. I'm sorry your mom was duped, but Hinn and other charletans like him prey on the desperate and needy. I am glad his wicked deeds are bringing him down.
I don't care for Benny Hinn, but I plan to watch this one carefully. I doubt any of us want the IRS to start using audits as a way to harrass religious ministries/institutions.
I can't believe they're looking at a good man like Benny Hinn! Next thing you know they'll be going after that beacon of faith and humility, Robert Tilton.