An Iowa pro-life group is being defended against “prejudicial questioning” by the IRS, which is accused of delaying a tax exemption for the non-profit religious organization. The tax collection agency has reportedly refused to grant the exemption until the group pledges to limit its picketing and protesting of Planned Parenthood.
The IRS also questioned the “educational” nature of the Coalition for Life of Iowa’s materials, prayer meetings, talks and other pro-life activities.
Attorneys with the Chicago-based Thomas More Society have defended the Coalition, arguing that the IRS risks violating the First Amendment and calling for the prompt granting of the tax exemption.
“The repeated questioning of the Coalition suggests that the IRS may be denying or delaying tax-exempt status to an eligible organization based solely upon its religious affiliation and speech,” a Thomas More Society press release said. “Many other organizations regularly advocate on both sides of these issues, and they have not been hindered in obtaining or maintaining tax-exempt status.”
Thomas Brejcha, president and chief counsel for the Thomas More Society, said the IRS “erroneously forbade” the Coalition from engaging in advocacy as a 501(c)3 non-profit and also never gave any explanation concerning why their request was relevant.
“The Coalition has clearly and truthfully stated that all its activities fall in line with IRS guidelines,” Brejcha continued. “The IRS is protecting [Planned] Parenthood and harassing the Coalition for Life of Iowa,” he charged.