I was interested in your comments and would ask you why, if what you say is true, do the Society still offer literature for money at the doors in the poor countries whereas the donation arrangement is in operation in the more affluent countries which also have tax laws that would impinge on the distribution of literature?
As an example, the donation arrangement was introduced in Oz just a few months before the commencement of a Goods & Services Tax (VAT).
If sales tax is charged, the publisher will have to create a paper record of it. Then someone has to get the tax monies to the government. So, either the individual publisher, congregation, or the Society itself would have to physically handle the monies and pay the government. If handled at a publisher or congregation level, some individual publishers or congregations will likely make a mistake. This could result in legal action and cause unnecessary reproach on Jehovah’s name, and cause the individual publisher and congregation undue anxiety. It would also take their focus off of their primary goal, which is preaching about the Kingdom hope.
So, the Society is the one best qualified to handle the paperwork. Unfortunately, this is not cost effective. Millions of pieces of literature are placed each month. Millions of pieces of paperwork would be generated, and the Society would have to obtain them somehow…and uses the congregations and publishers will have some of the problems just described. Plus, the overhead of processing them at the Society itself would be extremely expense, and not a cost-effective way of using donated funds.
In non-affluent countries, the individual publishers may not have the funds to donate to fully support the preaching work. The traditional method of charging for literature has worked well for years, and continues to work well. Hence, the Society wisely funds the preaching work in poorer countries by charging for literature.
What about affluent countries that do not charge sales tax? Again, the traditional method of charging for literature has worked well for years, and continues to work well. Also, charging for literature helps ensure that the household has some interest before taking the literature, and hence is more likely to read it and benefit from its life-saving message.
For now, Jehovah seems to be directing His Organization to continue using sales tax as the main decision criteria. Since the work is still being funded, we see this as the criteria Jehovah seems to approve of using at this time.