For the past three years, the Internal Revenue Service hasn't been
investigating complaints of partisan political activity by churches,
leaving religious groups who make direct or thinly veiled endorsements
of political candidates unchallenged.
The IRS monitors religious and other nonprofits on everything from
salaries to spending, and that oversight continues. However, Russell
Renwicks, a manager in the IRS Mid-Atlantic region, recently said the
agency had suspended audits of churches suspected of breaching federal
restrictions on political activity. A 2009 federal court ruling required
the IRS to clarify which high-ranking official could authorize audits
over the tax code's political rules. The IRS has yet to do so.
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