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Faith & Freedom Urges Congress To Repeal Johnson Amendment As Part of New Tax Reform Legislation

Washington, DC – Today Faith & Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed issued a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives urging them to repeal the Johnson Amendment as part of the Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018 before the end of the 115th Congress.

H.R. 88 would advance the middle-class tax cuts and reforms already passed by Congress as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act earlier this year and offer a repeal of the Johnson Amendment inserted into the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 by then-Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson that has been used by the IRS for years to conduct invasive audits of Christian ministries and withhold the tax exempt status from nonprofits for political reasons. 

“Critically, H.R. 88 repeals the Johnson Amendment, which has been used for decades to harass, intimidate, and persecute churches, other houses of worship, and nonprofit, faith-based charities by threatening them with the loss of tax-exempt status simply for exercising their First Amendment right to speak on public policy and political matters,” stated Reed.

President Trump has suspended enforcement by the IRS by Executive Order. However, the U.S. House included repeal of the Johnson Amendment as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but the provision was stripped out of the final legislation by the U.S Senate.

“It is therefore imperative to pass H.R. 88 and leave the Johnson Amendment on the ash heap of history where it belongs,” added Reed.

The bill also expands and preserves retirement savings and clarifies that churches need not file federal tax forms or pay taxes on the cost of parking and transit benefits provided to their staff. Finally, the bill expands 529 education expense plans to allow unborn children to qualify as a designated beneficiary so parents can start saving for their education immediately. 

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