Recall my post on Pulpit Freedom Sunday when some churches openly challenged the IRS to revoke their tax-exempt status by explicitly endorsing candidates.
The question I asked was why the IRS had not taken any action yet, even though the churches had been doing this since 2008. Commenter flex explained that Congress had written some weird rules that hamstrung the IRS in knowing when they could investigate possible violations of 501(c)(3) restrictions by churches.
I now learn that the IRS has “temporarily suspended tax audits of churches pending final adoption of IRS rule changes to clarify which high level Treasury official has authority to make a determination under IRC Sec. 7611 that there are reasonable grounds to begin a church tax inquiry.” Apparently the IRS has been bombarded with complaints on their seeming inaction on this issue but could not do anything even in the most egregious of cases.
It is not clear when the proposed rule changes will go into effect.