Church watchdogs are waiting for the Treasury Department to adopt new rules for approving church audits. In 2009 a court case ended IRS audits of churches. Treasury Department rules required regional commissioners to approve church audits but these positions no longer existed after a Treasury Department reorganization.
In August 2009 the Treasury Department proposed new regulations that stated, " ...replace each reference to Regional Commissioner with Director, Exempt Organizations."
The new regulations have not been adopted.
Meanwhile, the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) is seeking legal changes that would permit churches to be audited and a requirement for churches to file the form 990 with the IRS. Availability of a 990 would increase church transparency so that donors would have more information about how churches spend donations.
According to Newsweek, the SCA "is also asking Congress to scrutinize how churches get 501(c)(3) status."
- IRS Official: We are "Close" to Auditing Churches Again - Alliance Defending Freedom
- Court Rules Against IRS in Church-Audit Case - The Chronicle of Philanthropy
- Amendments to the Regulations Regarding Questions and Answers Relating to Church Tax Inquiries and Examinations - Department of the Treasury
- Are Churches Making America Poor? - Newsweek