SI SEA00810.705 Trappist Monks of Guadalupe (RTN 01, 08/2013)
The Trappist Monks of Guadalupe are members of the Order of Cistercian of the Strict Observance, commonly called the Trappist. The main purpose of the Trappist Monks of Guadalupe, Inc. (the Trappist Religious Corporation) is to live a Christian communal life in poverty. Trappist Monks of Guadalupe enter into a monastic life style in rural Oregon at Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey. Trappist religious principles emphasize the importance of producing goods. The monks, while religious, engage in income-generating enterprises: forestry, book binding, providing wine storage facilities for local wineries, casket making, and a fruitcake bakery. All goods are sold for the benefit of the monastery.
The Trappist Religious Corporation is tax exempt under section 501(d) of the tax code, and it is incorporated in Oregon as a religious nonprofit corporation. The corporation and their members all file tax returns. The organization pays no taxes; and the members pay income tax on their pro rata shares of the organization income. Under Oregon state law, religious nonprofit corporations may not pay dividends or distributions to individual members.
B. Living arrangements
The living arrangement (LA) for adults living in a monastery is always “A.” The VTR cannot apply because the food and shelter is provided by the corporation and not the householder.
C. In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) considerations
All food and shelter is owned and provided by the corporation and represents ISM to individual member-monks subject to the presumed maximum value (PMV). The Church Amendment exclusion (SI 00835.710) does not apply since the monastery is not an institution.
D. Other income considerations
Trappist monks can receive cash payments from the corporation to meet special needs.
Tax returns of member-monks may show a distributive share of earnings from the corporation. While for tax purposes a distributive share may be identified as partnership income, dividends, etc. and may be reportable to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), do not charge this as income unless actually received by the member-monk.
Field offices with Trappist Monks of Guadalupe, Inc. in their service area may want to obtain precedent information for SSI claims:
Articles of incorporation (including by-laws);
Most recent income tax return for the Trappist Monks of Guadalupe, Inc.
Most recent personal income tax return for the SSI claimant;
Evidence showing the corporation's status with IRS (IRS tax exempt ruling);
Evidence from a knowledgeable source explaining if members receive their distributive share of the colony's income.
F. Trappist Monks in Seattle Region
Trappist Monks of Guadalupe
The mailing address is Post Office Box 97, Lafayette, OR 97127-0097