On October 24, 2018, a three-judge panel of the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Gaylor v. Mnuchin, a tax case brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and its individual leaders challenging the constitutionality of tax exemption for the venerable clergy housing allowance. Attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for U.S. Treasury Secretary and the IRS Commissioner, as well as a group of religious intervenors, urged the court to uphold the exemption and defended its basis in the Constitution and related religious liberty jurisprudence. Attorneys for FFRF and a group of opposing tax professors contended that the allowance favors religion in violation of the First Amendment.
In a recently issued Tax Court case, Judge Mark Holmes rendered a decision that may be the most thorough judicial analysis of the law surrounding “love gifts” for pastors that has ever been published.
What does it take to successfully obtain charitable property tax exemption for a nonprofit’s real estate? As the Illinois Supreme Court ruled recently in: plenty – and more than just doing good in terms of overall programming. While its holding focused on hospital exemption, the Court decision is more broadly instructive in reaffirming the long-established and still-applicable key elements of exemption qualification.