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November 25, 2013

Atheist Groups' Suit Takes on Special Tax Rules for Churches

Oral arguments were made last week in an atheist organization's Kentucky lawsuit challenging tax laws that treat religious entities than differently than secular nonprofits, Religion News Service writes.

Churches and church-affiliated organizations are legally exempt from having to file Form 990s, by which most nonprofit groups provide program, financial, and other information to the Internal Revenue Service. "It seems to be straight-up discrimination on the basis of religion," said Dave Muscato, public-relations director for advocacy group American Atheists, the lead plaintiff in the case.

Two regional nonbelievers' groups, Atheists of Northern Indiana and Atheist Archives of Kentucky, also joined the case, which was argued Thursday at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.