The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that it will monitor churches for political activity. It is a rather convoluted route that brought the IRS to this announcement. It is actually a settlement between the IRS and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FRFF) in which the FRFF had sued the IRS, alleging that the IRS routinely ignored complaints about churches engaging in political activity, promoting candidates, and speaking out on issues and proposed legislation. The Johnson Amendment, enacted in 1954, prohibits 501(c)(3) organizations from engaging in partisan political activity.
It is somewhat amazing that it required a lawsuit to force the IRS to investigate political activity by such organizations. First, as a result of a 2009 lawsuit, the IRS was ordered to make such investigations. The IRS maintained that it was not ignoring complaints of Read more