A federal district court in Kentucky on Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought against the Internal Revenue Service by three different atheist groups that challenged various church and clergy tax provisions.
The dismissal may be a sign of things to come on a clergy housing allowance challenge in Wisconsin that gained steam late last year.
The American Atheists Inc., Atheists of Northern Indiana Inc., and Atheist Archives of Kentucky Inc. claimed churches and religious organizations receive unconstitutional preferential treatment. The defense and the court identified five specific tax provisions that would fit under the groups' claim, including church exemption from filing a Form 1023 to receive tax-exempt status, church exemption from filing annual Form 990s, and the clergy parsonage allowance.
The groups said they suffered "unconstitutional discrimination and coercion arising ...