Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Americans United Urges IRS To Take Necessary Steps To Limit Partisan Activity By Churches

Church-State Watchdog Group Offers Comments On Tax Agency’s Proposed Regulations To Enforce ‘No Politicking’ Rule

November 3, 2009

Partisan electioneering by tax-exempt churches is a significant national problem so the Internal Revenue Service must have clear and effective policies in place to respond, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told the federal tax agency.

The IRS is soliciting comments for new rules governing the enforcement of provisions in federal tax law that bar churches and other tax-exempt religious organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates.

Earlier this year, a federal court issued a ruling about IRS procedure that has required the government agency to clarify its internal policies regarding investigations of houses of worship.

“The rules need to change to get necessary investigations back on track,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “The law forbids tax-exempt churches to intervene in partisan politics, and the IRS needs an effective mechanism to enforce that mandate.”

Read the full press release at www.au.org

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