Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Anything related to legal issues, immigration, problems, regulations, tax issues, or any other law or legal related problem in Chile. Moderated By A Chilean Attorney.

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needwaterandpeace
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Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Post by needwaterandpeace » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:45 pm

Hi all.
I am what might be called a "small time" Bible minister in the US. (I have a big long term vision, but right now I am still not much more than an internet presence). I want to apply through the consulate to move to Chile, and continue my work on the internet from Chile. To do that, I imagine I either have to register a branch of my existing US church in Chile, or open a "new" church in Chile. So I need to research the laws.

I can't post links yet, but I found an article at the Biblioteca del Congreso de Chile entitled, "ESTABLECE NORMAS SOBRE LA CONSTITUCION JURIDICA DE LAS IGLESIAS Y ORGANIZACIONES RELIGIOSAS." I think I got most of it, but I did not see anything about a resident opening either a branch or a church in Chile, or if it is possible as an individual. A few things I did not understand, so I looked for the "next level" of documents, but did not see a link. A friend in Chile said the bureaucracy in Chile is much less than in the US... and so maybe that is all there is?

So, did I miss the link to the next level of documents? Or how can I find out if I can open a church (or a branch) in Chile as a resident (and as an individual)? In the US, the government Help department won't give you legal advice, but they have lots of manuals to refer you to. So, how does it go in Chile? If I ask Ayuda, will I likely get reliable ayuda? Or will they just say "No, sorry, you can't do that" (when really I can)?
Thanks.

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Space Cat
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Re: Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Post by Space Cat » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:29 pm

I hope it's a Rastafarian church. 🌿🌿😀🌿🌿

needwaterandpeace
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Re: Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Post by needwaterandpeace » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:39 pm

Thank you for making me laugh.

No, it is not a sacrament with us (at all), but the last time I checked, all plants bearing seed are given to us for food.... But they'll have to pass that law through the upper chamber of Congress first...

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admin
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Re: Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Post by admin » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:19 am

The short answer, from the goverment's perspective, no one cares if you are running an online church from chile.

Well, at least no more than any other biz.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

needwaterandpeace
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Re: Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Post by needwaterandpeace » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:31 pm

Admin, thank you! That is good to know.

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Re: Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Post by needwaterandpeace » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:55 pm

admin wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:19 am
The short answer, from the goverment's perspective, no one cares if you are running an online church from chile.

Well, at least no more than any other biz.
Admin, if I could ask, what about tax exemptions and donations to churches in Chile?

For example, religious donations are tax deductible in the US (as per the constitution). That being the case, if a minister donates 100% of all his personal income to the church, and works for the church, and the church pays his room and board (but he draws no salary and nothing ever inures to him), he does not have pay tax on that income (since he gave it 100% to tax-exempt cause). So my question is, would such donations be tax exempt in Chile also? Or how could I find out?

Thanks.

chesswolf
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Re: Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Post by chesswolf » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:24 am

I'm no expert, but I am aware that you will have to register your congregation to get a personalidad jurídica before you can take advantage of any tax breaks. I don't know the requirements to get the personalidad jurídica but I've heard you have to have 30-40 members. What you describe doing sounds a little bit like tax fraud to me but, again, I'm not expert.

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Re: Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Post by needwaterandpeace » Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:00 pm

Chesswolf, thank you. I appreciate that. I will research the rules for establishing a personalidad juridica.

You are wise to spot the potential for tax fraud (and sadly, I have met people who use this model to commit tax fraud). To commit tax fraud on this model, all one has to do is to use church monies or goods for personal, non-tax-exempt purposes. (But that is not what I do.)

In the Catholic Church, a priest gives all of his worldly possessions to the church, and takes vow of poverty. He then uses all monies and goods under his control to further the church's tax-exempt mission. He also serves in the church without pay, and the church covers his room, board, and expenses. (It is kind of like serving in an army, just without pay.) Tax exemption is given because all monies and goods are used for the recognized tax-exempt purposes. (In contrast, fraud happens when monies or goods are used for anything other than the tax-exempt purposes.)

Staying true to my mission shouldn't be a problem. I just don't know how to start out with 30-40 members in Chile before I even move there as a resident. But since Chile was originally set up to accommodate the Catholic Church, and since my model is similar, I am hoping there will be some kind of provision for opening a branch (or a "mission") in Chile, so I can get started.
Thanks.

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nwdiver
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Re: Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Post by nwdiver » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:33 pm

Ask the Latter Day Saints.........they seem to be doing ok in Chile.......
It's all about the wine.

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Re: Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Post by Donnybrook » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:41 pm

You would probably need a certificado de donaciones in order to gain any tax free advantage for donations. They are extremely difficult to obtain and I think your chances are slim to none.

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nwdiver
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Re: Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Post by nwdiver » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:48 pm

Donnybrook wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:41 pm
You would probably need a certificado de donaciones in order to gain any tax free advantage for donations. They are extremely difficult to obtain and I think your chances are slim to none.
Yes we run a education charity with tax free donation status........it was only who you know that got it registered.......I would think a religious one would be easier, but this is Chile.......
It's all about the wine.

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Re: Starting a Church (or Opening a Branch) in Chile

Post by needwaterandpeace » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:23 pm

Nwdiver, thanks.

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