Religion and the Tax Code

In the U.S., religious practices have an unclear relationship to the tax code. Sam Brunson, a professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, has an idea to give some structure to the way policy makers deal with that relationship. Congress historically writes religious accommodations into the tax code on a case-by-case basis: A group of people appears with a specific tax problem, and lawmakers decide whether to write a fix. But what if there were a framework that would help them consider the problems consistently and fairly? Brunson proposes such a framework in his book, “God and the IRS: Accommodating Religious Practice in United States Tax Law.” Discussing it with Bloomberg Tax legal reporter Aysha Bagchi, he says the government will surely continue to grant accommodations. The question is “will they be thoughtful, or will they continue to be ad hoc?”

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