Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2181557
 


 



Saving the Preachers: The Tax Code's Prohibition on Church Electioneering


Nicholas P. Cafardi


Duquesne University - School of Law

2012

Duquesne University Law Review, Vol. 50, p. 503, 2012
Duquesne University School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-16

Abstract:     
Churches, like other 501(c)(3) organizations are subject to a prohibition on electioneering. This prohibition has survived decades of constitutional challenges because the tax exemption that 501(c)(3) organizations enjoy is a privilege and not a right. This article examines the claim of churches that they have a right to intervene in elections contrary to existing IRS regulations based on the free exercise clause and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and finds such claims wanting.

The article explains that tax exemption and the ability to attract tax deductible gifts are a form of government and taxpayer subsidy. This subsidy exists for 501(c)(3) organizations because Congress believes that their charitable activities promote the public welfare and are worthy of subsidy. On the other hand, Congress did not wish to subsidize the political activities of tax exempt organizations, hence the prohibition. The rules prohibiting electioneering are rather lenient and very rarely have churches lost their exemption. Finally this article explains that this prohibition on electioneering has been very beneficial because it has helped maintain the separation of church and state that is fundamental to our nation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: electioneering, political speech, tax exempt, churches, RFRA, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, tax, separation of church and state, Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3)

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: November 28, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Cafardi, Nicholas P., Saving the Preachers: The Tax Code's Prohibition on Church Electioneering (2012). Duquesne University Law Review, Vol. 50, p. 503, 2012; Duquesne University School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-16. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2181557

Contact Information

Nicholas P. Cafardi (Contact Author)
Duquesne University - School of Law ( email )
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 214
Downloads: 40

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.343 seconds