LEGAL AND TAX QUESTIONS
How is Classical Conversations structured?
Classical Conversations is a for-profit business with the purpose of cultivating consistent classical Christian homeschool community leaders. Directors are licensees and receive a license to use our brand and copyrights to offer services and materials within the licensed CC programs.
How does Classical Conversations comply with tax and property tax laws?
- Classical Conversations, Inc. has always complied with all Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax laws and was audited in 2019 for the 2018 tax year, in which we were found to be above reproach. We regularly consult with our legal and tax advisors to ensure we are acting with integrity and in compliance. As Proverbs 15:22 states, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
- Most tax assessors have determined that families who wish to use church facilities as meeting spaces are able to do so, as our faith-based curriculum helps to further the primary and principal use of each church property: religious worship. The mission of every Classical Conversations homeschool community is to foster Christian-based education, which in turn promotes the beliefs and objectives of the church. Furthermore, Classical Conversations supports religious instruction by providing a curriculum and pedagogy grounded in a Christ-centered worldview. Therefore, by using the church property, Classical Conversations homeschool communities are able to further the primary use of each church property.
Does the occasional use of church property by Classical Conversations homeschool communities compromise the real property tax exemption afforded to those churches?
Although it varies from state to state, state statutes and court cases have generally provided that the occasional or incidental use of church property by members of the general public shall not compromise the real property tax exemption afforded to those churches.
Classical Conversations homeschool communities use only a small portion of each church property one day a week (for only 24–32 days per academic year) for 4–8 hours during non-worship hours. The occasional use of church property by each Classical Conversations homeschool community is incidental to the primary and principal use of the church property.
Furthermore, the mission of Classical Conversations and each homeschool community is to continue to foster and further Christ-centered education, which in turn demonstrates and promotes the beliefs and objectives of the church. Therefore, by using the church property, Classical Conversations homeschool communities are able to further the primary and principal use of each church property.
For example, certain county assessors have specifically determined that the Christian-based education offered through homeschool communities using the Classical Conversations curriculum constitutes worship, which supports the religious purpose associated with the use of church property.
Local Classical Conversations leaders can offer handouts to church leaders that share more information on this matter.
What kind of guidance does Classical Conversations provide to licensees for tax and legal compliance?
Although we provide best practice materials, we are not a legal or accounting firm. As independent business owners, Classical Conversations licensees are independently responsible for their business, legal, and tax needs. Each licensee is encouraged to work with a local team of professionals who can best answer the legal and tax questions for each municipality and area.
Are there resources available to help churches navigate and understand the issues relating to use of church property by homeschooling communities and its real property tax exemption?
Classical Conversations has partnered with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to offer churches that host a CC community access to the ADF Church Alliance membership. The benefits of the ADF Church Alliance program can be found here:
Classical Conversations encourages any church that hosts a Classical Conversations homeschooling community to take advantage of this membership by asking questions of ADF’s legal experts. If you are a church seeking the benefits of the ADF Church Alliance membership, please contact ADF directly using the link above, or feel free to contact email@example.com for more information.
Is there additional liability associated with becoming a Classical Conversations Licensed Director?
Classical Conversations strives to equip each of its Licensed Directors with as many resources to run a successful homeschooling community as possible. Classical Conversations advises each Licensed Director to seek independent insurance, tax, accounting, and legal advice to run each Director’s homeschooling community. Each Licensed Director runs a small business, and that business may be structured in a variety of ways to address the Director’s needs. There is no additional or “extra” liability that Licensed Directors of a Classical Conversations community face that is different, supplemental, or in addition to any other risk that any other small business owner faces. If a Licensed Director does not have access to any resources he or she may need to operate his or her business, Classical Conversations has partnered with certain service providers to help Licensed Directors with ongoing resources needed to operate a homeschooling community. Please review the Director Licensing Guidelines for a list of CC preferred partners.
What is Classical Conversations method of resolving conflict?
Classical Conversations maintains that the first and primary method of resolving conflict is to go directly to the person with whom the conflict resides, as Matthew 18 directs us as Christians. Our policy is to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and our desire is to always resolve conflict through relationships and personal connections.