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UCCtruths

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UCC vindicated by IRS

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The IRS has sent a letter to the national offices indicating that the United Church of Christ did not violate rules against political intervention when Barack Obama spoke at the UCC's General Synod last year. According to UC News:
The Internal Revenue Service has concluded that the UCC did not violate tax laws when U.S. Sen. Barack Obama addressed the denomination's 50th anniversary General Synod in Hartford, Conn., in June 2007.
In August of last year, UCCtruths received a copy of the complaint filed with the IRS. In the complaint, direct references were made to campaign statements made by Obama during the speech, references to his candidacy on the UCC web site and pictures copied from the UCCtruths web site that showed Obama campaign workers at the entrance to the convention facilities.

The response from the IRS is precedent setting in that it seems to change their existing rules that prohibit churches from referencing an invited speaker as a candidate and that the speaker make no campaign references. From current IRS guidelines:
• The individual speaks only in a non-candidate capacity;
• Neither the individual nor any representative of the organization makes any mention of his or her candidacy or the election;
• No campaign activity occurs in connection with the candidate’s attendance; and
• The organization maintains a nonpartisan atmosphere on the premises or at the event where the candidate is present.

In addition, the organization should clearly indicate the capacity in which the candidate is appearing and should not mention the individual’s political candidacy or the upcoming election in the communications announcing the candidate’s attendance at the event.
Clearly from the IRS response to the UCC, these guidelines are not firm and it opens up the spectrum of accepted political activity that churches may participate in and still be compliant with the IRS.
posted by UCCtruths, Wednesday, May 21, 2008

1 Comments:

James, thank you for as promptly sharing this news about the IRS investigation as you have all the others. And I mean that sincerely

Deb K.
commented by Blogger Deb, 10:59 AM  

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