Thursday, November 15, 2012

FFRF Sues IRS Over Non-Enforcement of Electioneering Restrictions On Churches

The Freedom From Religion Foundation yesterday announced that it has filed suit in a Wisconsin federal district court against the Internal Revenue Service challenging its failure to enforce against churches and religious organizations the electioneering restrictions applicable to tax-exempt non-profit organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  The Internal Revenue Code imposes special procedural provisions for instituting a church tax inquiry, and rule changes needed to properly implement those procedures have been pending for over 3 years. (See prior posting.) The complaint (full text) in Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Shulman, (WD WI, filed 11/14/2012), contends that the non-enforcement policy results in preferential treatment of churches and other religious organizations in violation of the Establishment Clause. The complaint asks the court to order the IRS to remedy the procedural problem by requiring it to designate an official who is authorized to determine when to initiate churches tax inquiries.