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Pastor, Church & Law

written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Government Investigations

Volume 4 . Chapter 9 . § 9-06

As has been noted elsewhere,152 the IRS possesses broad authority to inspect church records. This authority has been upheld on numerous occasions. Government investigations may be initiated by other federal agencies as well. To illustrate:

  • The Postal Service can investigate "any scheme or artifice to defraud, or … obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises" in connection with the use of the mail.153
  • The Federal Communications Commission can investigate complaints regarding a broadcast licensee's performance/
  • The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can investigate the compliance of religious organizations with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission can investigate instances of fraudulent activities in the offer and sale of securities.

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