The following is a two minute video outlining the details of a current court case that challenges churches’ exemption from filing federal Form 990.
Hi, I’m Mike Batts and I’m here with a brief alert related to the exemption that churches have from filing federal Form 990. An atheist organization has filed a federal lawsuit, in the District of Columbia, challenging the exemption that churches and church-related organizations have from filing the federal Form 990. As you may know, Form 990 is the information return that other types of nonprofit organizations are required to file. It is a very detailed, very specific form that includes information about an organization’s financial activities, governance, policies, grantmaking, and a whole host of other types of information. The Freedom from Religion Foundation formed a related organization called Nonbelief Relief. That organization intentionally failed to file Form 990 for 3 years, resulting in the IRS revoking the organization’s exempt status. In the federal lawsuit, the organization is challenging this treatment because it says that the exemption from filing Form 990s that churches and religious organizations have is unconstitutional. This is obviously a very important case, with very significant implications to churches and other types of religious organizations. We will be following it very closely and we will keep you posted on any new significant developments.