Every year I lived in Louisiana, a new politician took the pulpit to talk about why they were running for office. When I lived there, Our Savior’s Church gladly welcomed Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and Bobby Jindal into the pulpit to talk about their take on “Christian” issues.
Did you know that it’s against the law for churches to endorse a political candidate?
To be specific, Churches cannot engage in any of the following activities under the federal tax law:
- Cannot endorse or oppose candidates for public office
- Cannot make any communication—either from the pulpit, in a newsletter, or church bulletin—which expressly advocates for the election or defeat of a candidate for public office
- Cannot make expenditures on behalf of a candidate for public office or allow any of their resources to be used indirectly for political purposes (e.g., use their phones for a phone bank)
- Cannot ask a candidate for public office to sign a pledge or other promise to support a particular issue
- Cannot distribute partisan campaign literature
- Cannot display political campaign signs on church property
If your church is violating the federal tax law, this is how you can file a complaint:
How to Complain
If after reading the above information, you believe a church has violated the law, fill out a Department of the Treasury—Internal Revenue Service Form 13909, available as a regular pdf to print and fill out by hand, or as a pdf form version, which allows you to fill out the form on your computer and then print.
Send the completed form by one of the following methods:
IRS EO Classification
Mail Code 4910DAL, 1100 Commerce Street
Dallas TX 75242-1198
To complain to the IRS about its tax regulations permitting churches to politick over referenda, write to: Douglas Shulman Commissioner of Internal Revenue 10th St & Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, DC 20004
For more information, please see the IRS “Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations.”
Please visit Freedom From Religious Foundation for more information.