Last Friday, two lawsuits were filed in federal court challenging the IRS’s definition of "political intervention" as applied to two not-for-profit organizations – Catholic Answers, Inc., and the Christian Coalition of Florida, Inc. The new legal challenges claim the IRS’s application of an "all the facts and circumstances" test to determine whether non-profit political speech is tax exempt has the effect of chilling constitutionally protected "grass roots lobbying, issue advocacy and voter education activity ." The lawsuits also allege that the IRS’s "all the facts and circumstances" approach to determining whether a non-profit has engaged in non-exempt "political intervention" activity is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.
The complaints ask the federal courts to strike down the IRS’s "political intervention" rules and regulations both on their face and as-applied to the two non-profit groups, as well as additionally asking for tax refunds and that the IRS be enjoined from denying 501(c)(4) tax exempt status to the Christian Coalition of Florida.
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