In essence, Hovind owned nothing, had no salary, and all of his needs, housing, food, transportation, were met by the ministry. He had no personal wealth, and he was not an owner of any real estate or other property, the ministry was. All of CSE’s real estate was put into a trust. Years later, newspaper reports nebulously reported Hovind failed to pay his taxes. It was a moot point. Hovind, like ordered Catholic priests, officially had no income.He is wrong about Catholic priests, but let's not quibble. If Kent had nothing before he went to prison, you have to wonder why he is complaining so much about having nothing now that he is out again. Regardless, here is what Bill wrote me.
It would be a tax man who suggests Kent Hovind become "tax compliant." The IRS gets no criticism here despite a record of targeting conservative groups and misusing structuring to destroy the lives and businesses of so many. To set the record straight for anyone not familiar with the Hovind case, the IRS attempted to send Kent Hovind to jail for not paying his employees FICA withholding taxes for Medicare and Social Security. In court, 4 of 5 employees claimed they paid their own taxes and the government's case began to crumble so the structuring charge was contrived by prosecutors. Jo Hovind informed me Lois Lerner, the IRS official responsible for targeting conservative groups, had her signature on many of the papers involving their case and agents were coming from Washington DC for the Hovind case. The IRS is the primary offender, not Kent Hovind. And a confused and frightened Hovind family has been divided by the IRS now.
The best thing Kent Hovind's Creation Science Evangelism or Eric Hovind's Creation Today ministries could have done was move out of Pensacola and escape the wrath of that derelict IRS office there. That wasn't to be. I advised Eric Hovind to have a war chest ready for his dad when he was released from prison. Instead, Eric purchased properties in the name of God Quest (another name for Eric's ministries) when the funds were donated by well-wishers of Kent Hovind. When Kent returned from prison his son and wife simply said they owned CSE and Kent could go his own way, fearing Kent Hovind would get in IRS trouble again. But the Hovind family were living in properties purchased with funds from Kent Hovind supporters.
Kent Hovind is attempting to go to another State (Alabama is the present location) and re-start his ministry from scratch there. Anyone wanting to support Kent Hovind's ministry will have to go to his 2Peter3.com website as Creation Science Evangelism is now a false prop for Eric Hovind's ministry. Furthermore, Eric Hovind claims he owns his father's popular creation tapes and that his father can purchase them from him.
For all of us who have been praying for Kent Hovind's release from prison and resumption of his ministry, largely to children, I think most can say they were not bargaining for Eric as a substitute for his father. Kent Hovind's supporters will do well to steer clear of the family disputes and support his ministry and ignore family issues where the devil is doing his bidding. If we aren't part of the problem or the solution, I think the best advice is to avoid family dirty laundry and other issues the Hovind family needs to resolve on their own.
Kent Hovind is a torn man, driven to re-start a ministry poisoned by the IRS and greeted by a family not ready to support him. Maybe we should all step into the breach and support Kent and his visions for a creation education center in Alabama (with a gigantic roadside dinosaur to boot, to attract kids and families as they travel on the nearby highway). Kent Hovind is the only creation ministry that really reaches kids and their families. We need to get to the next generation before the devil does.
In a follow-up Bill wrote
Regarding opposition to taxes, yes, Constitutionally protected to say that. Tax avoidance and tax evasion are different things.
Kent Hovind’s position was he was like a Catholic priest whose income comes from the church and he doesn’t have to file or pay taxes. I guess only the Catholic priests get that privilege.
He was advised by me to hire an employment agency who could then pay all the FICA taxes for his employees without his ministry having to directly pay them. He got that advice too late. There was also an opt out form the IRS used to publish so workers could pay their own taxes instead of having them withdrawn by their employer. Kent should have given his employees that form to sign. I don’t see the IRS publishing that form any longer.
Americans believe they have a patriotic duty to pay taxes, but 45% of them don’t pay income taxes, and the billionaires create their own rules with the IRS. I don’t know that anyone should continue to pay for a corrupt government or a government that requires the shrinking middle class who work for a living to pay for the growing population of non-workers. 108 million Americans gave up looking for work or don’t work and the remaining workers were left to pay that share of taxes. And why pay for Social Security when it is already partially funded out of the general budget and not likely to be there for the next generation? Kent Hovind mentioned that.
Don’t think the Hovind case wasn’t about targeting conservative groups. When Associated Press covered the Hovind story, which was only a local tax case, it meant government was out to slander Hovind and sour his many followers.
Hovind needs to move out of Florida, get his own ministry re-started and we all need to support him. His son was advised to hang onto dad’s coat-tails as he would not find much support for his own ministry. Kent pledged to help Eric. But Eric would not return Kent’s property. Eric needs to get out of Christian ministry and get a real job. He offers little to the Christian community. He attempts to produce a movie (with Ken Ham of all people in an interview, instead of Kent Hovind, what a slap in the face) and he needs another million dollars to do that. He is a novice film producer. Eric is not business wise. I don’t even know he is following God’s will.
Bill closes with a quote from Learned Hand, which if you pay attention on this site has an eery familiarity.
Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands____________________________________________________________________________
Note On The Catholic Thing
Catholic priests who are regular diocesan clergy are taxed the same as anybody else. Members of religious orders including priests are in a special situation, but it is not unique to Catholics. Section 501(d) was created with groups like the Shakers in mind and it is still used by the Hutterites. It is treated much like a partnership, In many instances the income of the members will fall below the filing threshold, but they are not per se exempt.
Kent Hovind took some really bad tax advice from Glenn Stoll and others, but I think I will make his innocence narrative the subject of another post.
Peter J Reilly CPA finds himself caught up in Hovindology again. He appreciates contributions like that of Bill Sardi. Ultimately Reilly may become the Tom Sawyer of blogging, but he needs your help to get there.