Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC
California
Estate Planning
& Tax Law
Toll Free: 888-312-6978
Website Navigation Menu

Internal Revenue Service sued for non-enforcement of ban

Just two weeks ago we posted about the lack of IRS enforcement of the tax code which restricts religious institutions from making political endorsements, or risk losing their nonprofit status. Not only has the lack of enforcement by the IRS not gone unnoticed, it has generated a reaction from a group of non-religious people seeking to force the IRS into compliance.

According to news sources, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service. The lawsuit states that the FFRF is suing the IRS for "its failure to enforce electioneering restrictions against churches and religious organizations." The group claims that as many as 1,500 clergy violated the electioneering restriction on October 7, 2012 -- "Pulpit Freedom Sunday."

In most instances groups are fighting against, not for, enforcement or an audit so this lawsuit is unusual. There seems to be a significant amount of data supporting the lack of enforcement. The IRS has even spoken publicly about the lack of enforcement. In Bloomberg News it was reported that an IRS official stated that IRS audits of churches have been suspended.

Being classified as tax-exempt carries a number of financial benefits for organizations. Among the benefits for a charitable organization is that they are typically not required to pay property taxes. However, according to the IRS, a 501(c)(3) organization must not be "an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates."

There has not yet been any response from the IRS regarding this lawsuit. Should any charitable organization have questions about their charitable status or potential tax obligations, it would be wise to consult with a legal tax professional.

Source: Examiner, "FFRF sues IRS to enforce church electioneering ban," Trina Hoaks, Dec. 2, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Us Now to begin your initial consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

FindLaw Network

Office Locations

Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC
490 Post Street, Suite 508
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-433-3350
Toll Free: 888-312-6978
Map and Directions

Additional Office Locations:
Pleasanton
323 Ray Street
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Phone: 925-484-0888 
Pleasanton Law Office Map

San Mateo
1900 S. Norfolk Street, Suite 350
San Mateo, CA 94403
Phone: 415-433-3350
Map and Directions

Sunnyvale
1250 Oakmead Pkwy, Suite 210 
Sunnyvale, CA 94085 
Phone: 888-312-6978 
Map and Directions