June 2019 – In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the long-standing income tax housing allowance exemption for pastors. It was the second attempt of the Freedom from Religion Foundation to have the “parsonage exemption” declared unconstitutional.
FFRF had claimed that IRS Code Section 107(2) provides preferential tax benefits to religious leaders. However, the court disagreed, stating that the effect of the tax exemption is “neither to endorse nor to inhibit religion, and it does not cause excessive government entanglement.”
A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice called the ruling “a win for religious protections enshrined” in the Constitution.