January 12, 2017: The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is suing the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation over an adverse notice that it owes $12,610,357.91, as well as failure-to-pay penalties of $3,152,589.48 for business privilege taxes incurred by the Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic.
The General Conference filed the case in the Supreme Court of Guam, protesting the claim that the clinic owed taxes from 1991 to 2013.
According to the Pacific Daily News, the church cited its tax-exempt status as an unincorporated nonprofit religious organization, claiming the status afforded it with a “blanket exemption” for all its business activities.
The adverse notice filed against the church also includes $354,237.53 and penalties of $88,559.39 for the same time period for the Guam Adventist Food Center.
The government claim is that both clinic and food center revenues represent for-profit activities of the Adventist church and should be taxed.
According to the Pacific News Center, the Adventist church is using the lawsuit to demand that the adverse notice be reversed and that Guam tax authorities confirm the General Conference has no tax liabilities.