Forum Thread

IRS to crack down on tax-exempt organizations mixing with politics

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  • Center Left
    Denton, TX
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    The Freedom From Religion Foundation has been successful in compelling the IRS in enforcing the restriction that prohibits organizations that are tax-exempt under 501(c)(3) from campaigning nor participating in elections.

    In recent years, the IRS has been ignoring churches that ignore these rules. Some churches even blatantly flaunt the fact that they are breaking the law. It does not appear that any organization will be punished for past transgressions but we will see how effective this will be in the next two election cycles.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    What's crazy about this whole lawsuit is that the Freedom from Religion Foundation sued the IRS to enforce the law and not blatantly disregard it, which the IRS has done for years. The group sued the IRS to enforce the Johnson Amendment, which was passed in 1954. The Johnson Amendment prohibits churches and individuals who are tax-exempt from endorsing or opposing any political candidate. If you don't want to pay taxes then you must follow the law. That seems rather noncontroversial to me.

    I don't understand how any reasonable person can say it's acceptable to allow people to claim status as a nonprofit and religious organization, but then preach politics and manipulate the tax code to their advantage. I applaud the Freedom From Religion Foundation for forcing the IRS to enforce the Johnson Amendment as it is written. Let's see if they actually go after these organizations or let time pass and continue with the status quo.