TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Catholic Groups Spar with IRS Over Voter's Guide

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Catholics for a Free Choice have filed a complaint with the IRS alleging that the Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics produced by the § 501(c)(3) organization Catholic Answers violates the ban on partisan electoral activity. Under this theory, any local church that distributes the guide would risk its § 501(c)(3) status. (Thanks to reader Steven Sholk for the tip.)

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501(c)(3)s have been insulating themselves from this problem for years through multiple incorporations. Perhaps the Catholic Church needs to revise its corporate structure. Sexual abuse liability exposure is likely to lead it to do so anyway. No reason, in my view, to change basic tax rules to deal with the failure of the Church to do what everyone else already does. I speak, of course, as the employee of a separately incorporated Catholic entity.

Posted by: Theodore Seto | Sep 22, 2004 9:25:59 AM