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Published:April 12th, 2008 07:46 EST
Church Officials Go to the IRS Requesting a Church Tax Inquiry

Church Officials Go to the IRS Requesting a Church Tax Inquiry

By SOP newswire2

Eagle Mountain International Church/Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) took the unprecedented and historic step of requesting the IRS to undertake an inquiry of the Church. On Monday, April 7th John Copeland the CEO of the Church and KCM, personally delivered a letter to the IRS offices in downtown Dallas.

John Copeland explained to reporters, "We told the IRS in a letter that we welcome them to come and make inquiry of us and we will provide answers to the IRS regarding questions that Senator Grassley has. The Church desires to protect its and all other churches' 1st Amendment rights, and by this action, we believe we are doing just that."

For more than 40 years the Church/KCM has operated with integrity and in compliance with the tax laws and government regulations. KCM has no problem with giving the government the information Senator Grassley has requested, so long as the Church's constitutional rights are respected. It has always been KCM's position that there is a process already in place for the government, through the IRS, to obtain the information Senator Grassley has requested.

The IRS is the appropriate agency to receive this information, subject to processes and procedures set out in the federal tax laws that apply to all churches and to all private taxpayer information. By following these processes and procedures, which Senator Grassley himself helped write, the Church's rights will be protected, but the Senator will still be able to obtain all the information he is demanding by requesting it from the IRS after it has concluded a church tax inquiry.

If the Church is not given the protections from disclosure afforded by the federal tax laws, the Church is concerned that private church documents and information produced to Senator Grassley could be used in a manner that interferes with the Church's religious freedoms. The Church believes that the Senator's demands are inconsistent with longstanding principles that require the separation of Church and State, as well as Supreme Court rulings that hold that the government may not inquire into the very nature of a church's religious beliefs and practices.

To view a copy of the letter delivered to the IRS and other Church responses to Senator Grassley, go to www.kcm.org

 

Christian Newswire