Question by juhsepi: If a minister endorses a candidate from the pulpit. Does their church lose it’s tax-exempt status?
I’m asking this question In light of the recent debate going around about Obama’s minister.
Regardless of what side you take on this matter, Whats clear in the video below is that he is endorsing Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton.
Does this violate their churches tax exempt status?
Answer by Brian J
Not likely. The IRS has never seriously enforced the 1954 law that forbids churches to aid candidates for elected office. (It has been amended to ban opposing political candidates as well.)
The agency defends its record by noting that churches enjoy special legal protections that prevent the IRS from proactively monitoring them for violations. The agency cannot launch an investigation into a church unless it receives a complaint from a parishioner or an independent watchdog group.
IRS experts outside the agency say a bigger stumbling block to enforcement is the American cultural taboo against government intrusion into churches. Estimates are that only about five churches have ever lost their tax-exempt status by violating the rule. That’s one church for each decade the law has been on the books.
See the information source below.
Add your own answer in the comments!