Gardner v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 13-72699 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Taxpayers argue that they did not earn taxable income and are exempt from paying taxes because they have taken vows of poverty. The Bethal Aram Ministries (BAM) is a church formed by taxpayers that provides maintenance to taxpayers. The court concluded that the tax court's determinations are supported by substantial evidence. In this case, the payments were quid pro quo payments for services in setting up corporations sole and limited liability companies and not contributions to BAM. Furthermore, taxpayers have complete dominion and control over BAM and its accounts. Accordingly, the court affirmed the tax court's decision that payments received by taxpayers are taxable and that they are subject to self-employment tax.