Saturday, August 15, 2015

IRS will not revoke the tax-exempt status of religious organizations that object to same-sex marriage..BUT...

John Koskinen

It's not clear how reliable John Koskinen's word is.

The Internal Revenue Service will not revoke the tax-exempt status of religious organizations that object to same-sex marriage, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has promised at least twice in recent weeks. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen committed July 29 not to revoke the tax-exempt status of colleges opposing same-sex marriage.

But some tax code experts say the commissioner's commitments are not a guarantee of tax shelter for organizations with religious objections to the Supreme Court's nationwide legalization of homosexual marriage this summer.

Michael Batts, a CPA who specializes in nonprofit organizations, told Baptist Press some types of tax exemptions could still be in jeopardy.

"It is helpful to have correspondence from the sitting IRS commissioner that provides some minimal level of temporary assurance about the position of current IRS officials. But the commissioner's comments on federal tax-exempt status for religious organizations do not establish legal authority on the matter and they are not the end of the story," Batts, managing partner of a national CPA firm that exclusively serves nonprofits, said in written comments.

"Leaders of religious organizations must also keep in mind that federal income tax exemption is only one front with respect to this issue," Batts noted. "State and local tax exemptions of various types, as well as other areas of law like housing, zoning and land use are administered by countless agencies all over the country. Federal, state and local officials administering these other areas of law are not bound by the comments of the IRS commissioner or, for the most part, by federal tax law."

SOURCE: Baptist Press