IRS Audits on Churches Temporarily Halted
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In a previous article “Clarifying the IRS Rules About Endorsing Candidates From The Pulpit,” we wrote about the IRS rules and regulations concerning churches/clergy officially endorsing political candidates. Throughout the election season, the IRS was inundated with complaints regarding the churches officially endorsing candidates.
Recently, Bloomberg BNA talked with Russell Renwicks of the IRS Tax-Exempt and Government Entities division regarding the the numerous complaints. Renwick stated that “We are holding any potential church audits in abeyance.” This was the first official announcement by an IRS official that indicated that IRS church audits were being temporarily halted. The moratorium is in effect until the IRS determines which employees have the authority to the issue a church audit. According the Christianity Today, a 2009 court ruling in Minnesota ruled that the person originally designated to issue church audits was not a high enough ranking official in the IRS to be authorized to issue these audits. Since the 2009 ruling, the IRS has not revisited the issue of who should be in charge of issuing church audits. IRS audits on churches will most likely be on hold until IRS designates a high enough ranking official that is legally eligible to issue audits to churches.
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