The Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations, created to help resolve financial accountability issues with an eye toward self-regulation, has launched an online forum to seek public comment on regulatory and tax policy issues facing clergy, churches and other nonprofit groups.

The commission, formed by ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability), has added a public input page to its Web site in order to seek input on issues related to political speech, love offerings paid to religious leaders, the clergy parsonage exclusion and compensation of church leaders.

“We hope that public feedback will give the commission further clarity and insight as we address these important issues,” said Michael Batts, commission chairman. “It is vital that we have as much constructive input as possible, as the issues we are addressing could affect clergy, religious organizations and other nonprofits all across America.”

Among the questions on which the commission seeks feedback are:
• What role should federal tax law play in establishing the compensation and benefits of nonprofit organization leaders?
• To what extent should churches be accountable to the Internal Revenue Service with respect to the details of their activities?
• Should the clergy parsonage exclusion be limited to the primary residence? Should the amount of the exclusion be limited?
• Should the current prohibition of political campaign intervention by 501(c)(3) organizations be relaxed or modified in some way to permit limited speech in support of or opposition to political candidates?

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