Atheist group sues IRS over tax exemption

WASHINGTON — An atheist relief organization has sued the IRS, claiming its tax-exempt status was unfairly revoked.

The Aug. 20 IRS revocation notice said Nonbelief Relief, the charitable arm of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), failed to file an “information return” — known as a Form 990 — for three consecutive years. In its complaint filed Oct. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the charity said it “objects to having to file Form 990 while churches and church-related organizations do not.”

Annie Laurie Gaylor, president of the charity and FFRF co-president, said the suit is “part and parcel” of an ongoing legal strategy of the Wisconsin-based atheist group that has challenged religious exemptions in the IRS code.

Another challenge by the FFRF, against tax-free housing for clergy, has been appealed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (RNS)