President Trump plans to mark National Day of Prayer on Thursday by issuing an executive order that makes it easier for churches and other religious groups to actively participate in politics without risking their tax-exempt status, several administration officials said.
Taking action as he hosts conservative religious leaders Thursday morning, Mr. Trump’s executive order would attempt to overcome a provision in the federal tax code that prohibits religious organizations like churches from directly opposing or supporting political candidates….
It is unclear exactly how the executive order will get around the tax code provision, since eliminating it would require legislation by Congress.
But faith leaders who have had discussions with White House officials about the issue said Mr. Trump could direct the Internal Revenue Service not to actively investigate or pursue cases of political activism by members of the clergy.
Such a directive might be quickly challenged in court. But in the meantime, pastors could feel freer to actively participate in coming elections without fear of being investigated and having their tax-exempt status revoked by the federal government.