Johnson Amendment Update

NSC recently sent the following update from the National Council of Nonprofits on the Johnson Amendment:

From the National Council of Nonprofits:

Vote to Politicize Houses of Worship Expected in House Committee


The House Appropriations Committee is expected to vote as early as this week on a spending bill that contains an extraneous provision (rider) that would significantly weaken enforcement of aspects of Section 501(c)(3), in particular the provision of law sometimes called the Johnson Amendment that protects against partisanship.


The rider, Section 116 of the House Financial Services and General Government FY2018 Appropriations Bill, would prevent the Internal Revenue Service from spending any funds to make a final determination that a house of worship or its affiliate has violated the Johnson Amendment unless the IRS meets three conditions: (1) the IRS Commissioner personally consents to a determination of unlawful conduct; (2) politicians on the House and Senate tax committees are given 30-days’ notice of the law-enforcement determination; and (3) an additional 90-days’ notice is provided before enforcement can commence.


According to Newsweek, Section 116 “would make it exponentially more difficult to enforce” even the most blatant violations of the Johnson Amendment. While aimed at houses of worships, most charitable nonprofits as well as faith-based organizations strongly oppose legislative efforts to politicize entities that currently are dedicated to their missions in communities and are above the partisan fray.


In an article in Nonprofit Quarterly, Tim Delaney, President & CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, explains why this attack on nonpartisanship matters to everyone and what’s at stake. See the National Council of Nonprofits News Release for more background.


For More Information


More information about this important issue can be found on the National Council of Nonprofits website.