Law Offices of Connie Yi, PC - estate planning
Tell Us About Your Case

For the safety of our community, clients and staff, we have suspended all in-person meeting effective March 17, 2020. All consultation meetings will be via Phone or Zoom Video Conferencing. Please contact us at 925-484-0888 or email us directly at [email protected] to schedule the consultation.

Bay Area Estate And Tax Planning Law Firm
Estate Planning
Trust Administration and probate

Internal Revenue Service sued for non-enforcement of ban

| Dec 4, 2012 | Uncategorized |

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

Archives

FindLaw Network

Recent Blog Post

Even a fortune can disappear without sound estate planning

Some figures baffle.Like the speed of light. Like the age and size of the universe. And like estimates pegging the personal fortunes of America's richest families.Consider this imagery relevant to the storied Vanderbilt family for a moment: a pile of money equaling...

Remarrying couples unquestionably need to focus on estate planning

Many remarrying California individuals fail to timely consider and update existing estate plans to reflect new realities.Don't be one of them. Many remarrying California individuals fail to timely consider and update existing estate plans to reflect new...

View More Blog Posts