Written by Don Byrd

Howard Friedman at Religion Clause reports that the IRS has stopped any investigation into the tax status of churches pending new rules about which officials are authorized to open an inquiry. Complaints about church involvement in electoral politics have apparently gone unaddressed because the rule remains unclear.

Concern about the rule dates back to a 2009 court ruling in a case involving Minnesota pastor Mac Hammond, who argued successfully that an investigation into his church’s tax-exempt status was improper because the authorizing official was not high-ranking enough to meet Congressional guidelines. Presumably, investigations have been suspended since then while the rule is still pending changes to come into conformity with the law.

If this is true, what’s taking so long?