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• A federal district court in Massachusetts addressed the issue of IRS audits of churches, and ruled that the IRS had exceeded its authority in seeking to subpoena a church's records. In 1988, an IRS regional commissioner sent a "notice of tax inquiry" to the Church of Scientology of Boston, stating that he had reason to believe that the church might have lost its tax-exempt status because of substantial commercial activities and distribution of funds to private individuals. After receiving written responses from the church to several questions, the IRS determined that an examination of the church's books, records, and activities was necessary. Accordingly, the IRS sent the church a "notice of church examination." Following a conference with church officials, the IRS issued a subpoena ordering the church to produce some 200,000 pages of materials. When the church refused to respond ...

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  • September 3, 1990