IRS Releases Report on Political Activity in Churches
The Internal Revenue Service has released a report outlining the activities of churches are tax-exempt under 501(c)(3). This underscores the need for churches that receive tax-exempt status to be particularly careful to avoid endorsing particular candidates.
Some of the specific instances of political intervention alleged and examined include the following:
- Charities, including churches, distributing diverse printed materials that encouraged their members to vote for a particular candidate (24 alleged; 9 determined)
- Religious leaders using the pulpit to endorse or oppose a particular candidate (19 alleged; 12 determined),
- Charities, including churches, endorsing or opposing a candidate on their website or through links to another website (15 alleged; 7 determined),
- Charities, including churches, disseminating voter guides or candidate ratings that encourage readers to vote for particular candidates (14 alleged; 4 determined),
- Charities, including churches, placing signs on their property that show they support a particular candidate (12 alleged; 9 determined),
- Charities, including churches, giving improper preferential treatment to certain candidates by permitting them to speak at functions (11 alleged; 9 determined), and
- Charities, including churches, making cash contributions to a candidate’s political campaign (7 alleged; 5 determined).
Read more at: