The IRS has agreed to pay closer attention to what is said in houses of worship after reaching a settlement with a secularist group in federal court last week.
On Friday, the IRS settled a lawsuit filed in 2012 by the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF). The Wisconsin group brought the lawsuit because it said the IRS was ignoring complaints about churches violating their tax-exempt statuses. Specifically, FFRF said many churches promote political issues, legislation, and/or candidates from the pulpit in violation of the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which requires that non-profits not endorse candidates.
According to FFRF, the IRS has not followed a 2009 ruling requiring it to hire someone to keep an eye on church politicking. The IRS says it hasn’t ignored the ruling, but merely failed to follow it.