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Atheists Association Claims the IRS Illegally Discriminates in Lawsuit


Atheisits AssociationAmerican Atheists claims that the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) gives preferential treatment to churches and religious organizations who seek or have 501(c)(3) non-profit status.  The group asserts this violates non-believers’ Constitutional rights because it treats churches differently than non-churches and this equates to government support of religion.

Under current IRS policy, churches automatically qualify for 501(c)(3) status, though nonreligious 501(c)(3)s must go through an extensive application process to get the same tax benefits. Additionally, religious organizations do not have to fill out annual Form 990 returns reports.  The 990 details the charities’ finances.   Often, the 990 helps the IRS identify possible fiscal wrongdoing and law-breaking. Critics, who have recently renewed their call for religious exemption reform, say that these filing differences cost the U.S. government from $17 to $71 billion annually.



Government’s Motion to Dismiss

American Atheists’ Response to Motion to Dismiss

Arthur Hardy-Doubleday

Author Arthur Hardy-Doubleday

Arthur Hardy-Doubleday practices law in Cambridge and Martha's Vineyard Massachusetts. He works in the areas of Real Estate, Personal Injury, and Consumer Protection Law. When not practicing law, Arthur enjoys sailing, hanging out with friends on the beach, and waking his dog "Ridiculous."

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