It started 5 years ago and just ended this month. After years of congressional investigations and lawsuits the IRS has finally admitted and apologized for illegal targeting and denying conservative nonprofit applications. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced October 26, the Justice Department had settled two class action lawsuits representing 469 plaintiffs that sued the IRS. AG Sessions stated, “There is no excuse for this conduct. Hundreds of organizations were affected by these actions, and they deserve an apology from the IRS. We hope that today’s settlement makes clear that this abuse of power will not be tolerated.” In the Washington D.C. case the IRS signed a consent order admitting wrong and apologizing. In Southern District of Ohio case the IRS apologized and paid a financial settlement amount.
Why is this news important to your ministry? It demonstrates that our government targeted nonprofits based on their mission and purpose. There is nothing to prevent this from happening again. 501(c)(3) churches and ministries today risk losing their nonprofit status due to what they say. If your ministry is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) you’re “Letter of Determination” (LOD) may be revoked for any single violation of speaking on politics and attempting to influence legislation. Worse, the IRS does not have to go to court to repeal a LOD, a government employee can do it. As social issues have become political issues, speech about sin, sexuality, and marriage may easily be conceived as a political or legislative statement.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-27 to “Build your house on the rock”. Build your ministry on a better foundation, build your ministry as a 508(c)(1)(a).