FFRF Suing IRS for Tax Exemption

FFRF Suing IRS for Tax Exemption

FFRF Suing IRS for Tax Exemption
By AgnosticPreachersKid [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons
Nonbelief Relief has not filed Form 990 for three successive years.

Nonbelief Relief, an atheist organization providing relief has filed a case against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), claiming its tax-exempt status was unfairly taken away.[/tweetit] The case was filed on October 11 in U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia. David J. Kautter, the acting IRS commissioner, is the defendant.

FFRF Suing IRS for Tax Exemption[/tweetthis]

Nonbelief Relief was created by the executive board of Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) in 2015. The new group is a distinct 501(c)(3) creation for atheists, freethinkers, and agnostics to remediate human injustice and sufferings all over the world as a result of following religious dogma, human actions, or natural disasters. This relief includes assistance to persons targeted for secular activism or non-belief.

The revocation notice sent by the IRS on August 20 said Nonbelief Relief failed to file the "information return," formally known as Form 990 for three successive years. The charity, in its complaint, states its objection to filing Form 990 is that churches and related organizations do not do so. Annie Laurie Gaylor, the president of FFRF and administrator of Nonbelief Relief, said the continuing legal strategy is to challenge the IRS code which puts religion at an advantage over non-religion.

The IRS replied in the negative to a request by the charity to be excused from the yearly Form 990 registration. The charity cited the different and advantageous treatment of churches compared to other tax-exempt nonprofits. According to Nonbelief Relief, the IRS action will lead it to suffer harm and put it at a disadvantage due to its tax-exempt status being revoked. The loss of all charitable donations and tax liabilities will be a surety as donors will not find the amount tax-deductible when given to them. The charity has requested the court to reinstate the tax-exempt status. It also wants the IRS to stop giving churches and all affiliated religious organizations the preferential exemption from the yearly information filings needed from all other 501(c)(3) non-profits.

According to Nonbelief Relief, it has donated approximately $590,000 to various recipients. One recipient, who received $4,000, spent the money to mount a legal defense to a specific ex-Muslim atheist whose father filed false churches as she deserted her religion. As per Gaylor, the list of pending recipients includes individuals who want to leave their South Asian countries as they were mortally threatened due to their atheism. The FFRF said such preferential treatment violates the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.


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