Tax Exemption

Analysis: Could churches lose their tax-exempt status if they refuse to recognize same-sex marriage?

Small old white church in the country

Earlier this month, presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke stated that he would support removing the tax-exempt status of organizations and institutions that oppose same-sex marriage. Specifically, O'Rourke said, "There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution or organization in America that denies the full human rights, and the full civil rights of everyone in America."

 
 

Supreme Court to hear challenge to Montana's no-aid-to-religion law

Supreme Court to hear challenge to Montana's no-aid-to-religion law

The United States (U.S.) Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue, concerning a Montana state legislative program that allowed individuals to receive up to a $150.00 tax credit for money that they could donate to one of several K-12 scholarship funds.

 
 

FFRF decides not to appeal 7th Circuit opinion upholding parsonage allowance

FFRF decides not to appeal 7th Circuit opinion upholding parsonage allowance

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has decided not to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 7th Circuit decision in Gaylor v. Mnuchin  (7th Cir., March 15, 2019) upholding a clergy-specific tax-free housing allowance provision in the IRS code. The secular organization has consistently argued that Internal Revenue Code Sec. 107(2) violates the Establishment Clause. 

 
 

Clergy Housing Tax Exemption Case Heard by Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Clergy Housing Tax Exemption Case Heard by Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments this week in Gaylor v. Peecher, a case that challenges the constitutionality of tax-exempt housing for clergy. Under 25 U.S.C. § 107(2), a pastor may receive a payment separate from taxable salary to pay for housing-related expenses including rent, mortgages and utility services.

 
 

Parties gearing up for 7th Circuit challenge to clergy housing tax exemption

Parties gearing up for 7th Circuit challenge to clergy housing tax exemption

The 7th Circuit will decide whether a tax rule that allows only members of the clergy to deduct housing costs including rent, mortgage, furnishing, utilities, maintenance, and other associated costs is constitutional.

 
 

Why Congress dropped the Johnson Amendment repeal from tax reform

Why Congress dropped the Johnson Amendment repeal from tax reform

As part of the final push to enact tax reform before the end of the year, a proposed tax code change that would permit churches and other non-profit organizations to engage in partisan political campaigning has been dropped from the House and Senate reconciliation version of 2017 tax bill. Although the House version of the bill had included a repeal of the controversial Johnson Amendment, the Senate version kept it intact. Proponents of the repeal have argued for the right of pastors to speak freely about candidates from the pulpit, and opponents claim it would provide a "dark money" tax-exempt way to launder otherwise non-tax deductible campaign donations.

 
 

Tax-exemption of clergy housing violates Establishment Clause rules Federal judge

Tax-exemption of clergy housing violates Establishment Clause rules Federal judge

Last Friday a federal judge in Wisconsin issued a ruling that a federal statute that exempts housing for members of the clergy from taxation violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

 
 

US House votes to defund IRS investigations of church political endorsements

US House votes to defund IRS investigations of church political endorsements

  esterday, by a margin of 211 to 198, the U.S. House of Representatives quietly voted to defund IRS investigations of church political endorsements as part of a massive spending bill. On the bottom of page 21 of the text of the 2018 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill, the drafters included the following language: SEC. 116. None of the funds […]

 
 

The Theology of the Tax Exemption

The Theology of the Tax Exemption

By Jason Hines, PhD, JD – Has Christianity in America become so materialistic that we conflate our freedom to worship with our ability to save a dollar?

 
 

Free Exercise After Obergefell: Warnings from the Dissent

Free Exercise After Obergefell:  Warnings from the Dissent

Statements of Justices Roberts, Thomas, and Alito on free exercise of religion in light of the same-sex marriage decision.