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Monday, September 18, 2006

All Saints Church May Resist IRS Summons

All_saints Following up Sunday's detailed post on the summons issued by the IRS in connection with its threatened revocation of the tax exemption of All Saints Episcopal Church (Pasadena, CA) because of an anti-war sermon delivered the Sunday before the 2004 Presidential election:  Pastor Ed Bacon gave a fiery sermon on Sunday, Neighbor Love is Never Neutral, in response to the IRS summons.

The front page of today's L.A. Times has a detailed account of the sermon:  Pasadena Church May Fight IRS Summons, by Scott Golver & Louis Sahagun:

A liberal Pasadena church facing an IRS investigation over alleged politicking sounded a defiant note Sunday, with its leaders and many congregants saying the probe amounted to an assault on their constitutional rights and that they were inclined to defy the agency's request for documents. "These people are offended," said the Rev. Ed Bacon, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, after delivering an impassioned sermon about the investigation to a standing-room-only crowd of about 900. "Freedom of speech and freedom of religion have been assaulted by this act of the IRS, and I think my people want to be heard in court."

(Hat Tip:  Ellen Aprill.)

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2006/09/all_saints_chur.html

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Comments

In the interest of completeness, I think that the church asked for (and might have received) an administrative subpoena, which is enforced in a District Court. Prior to now, the IRS had made written (and perhaps oral) requests for information.

Posted by: S.cotus | Sep 18, 2006 12:34:56 PM

They should be heard in court. But that does not mean that the comments of the retired priest which did a supposed debate between Kerry and Bush with Jesus with the goal of convincing congregants to vote for Kerry will not ultimately be consigned to something over what an exempt organization is allowed to do. Regas spent his career making outrageous political remarks often disguising them in fairly weak theology. This was just one more example of that trend. But this is an important enough issue so that the process should probably go to the courts for them to decide the issue.

Posted by: drtaxsacto | Sep 18, 2006 1:09:43 PM