Yes. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service in December 2012 arguing that the church exemption from filing Form 990 (an extensive annual information return required for most non-church nonprofit organizations) violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and equal protection principles under the Fifth Amendment.
This issue was recently considered by the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations in the Commission’s December 2012 report to Senator Charles E. Grassley. The commission recommends that Congress never pass legislation requiring churches to file the Form 990 or any other similar information returns or forms with the federal government.
This latest lawsuit comes after two other FFRF complaints were filed against the IRS in the past few months—one challenging the constitutionality of the clergy housing exclusion and another seeking to compel the IRS to enforce the campaign prohibition against churches involved in electioneering activities. Both of these earlier cases are unresolved.
Dan Busby, President of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), is a nationally recognized author and speaker and a member of the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations.