Audit Act Does Not Protect Individual Pastors, Court Says.

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A federal court affirmed that the special rules that restrict the Internal Revenue Service's ability to audit houses of worship do not apply to individual pastors.

Herbert H. Rowe and his wife Carol G. Rowe, who are pastors at the Upperroom Bible Church in New Orleans, argued that the rules in a federal law known as the Church Audit Act protecting churches from most audits should apply to them as well.

The Rowes didn't file federal income tax returns between 1996 and 2010. After they were put under investigation by the 1RS, they filed a tax return in 2011. This led to the IRS requesting records that correlated to church bank accounts, which the Rowes protested.

The U.S. District Court...

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