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Church Political Activities: The IRS is Watching (Again)

Agency says protocol is in place to properly initiate inquiries.

Church Political Activities: The IRS is Watching (Again)
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The participation by churches and church leaders in political campaigns is an American tradition dating back to the founding of the republic. Common examples include:

  • inviting candidates to speak during worship services
  • distributing "voter education" literature reflecting candidates' views on selected topics
  • voter registration activities
  • enlisting volunteers for a particular candidate's campaign
  • collecting contributions for a particular candidate
  • statements by ministers during worship services or in church publications that support or oppose candidates

Unfortunately, it is not well understood that these kinds of activities, as well-meaning as they may be, jeopardize a church's exemption from federal income taxation. This is because section 501(c)(3) of the tax code specifies that a church or other public charity is exempt from federal income taxation only if "no substantial ...

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Posted:
  • October 28, 2014

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