"Internet Church" Must Have Real Congregation, According to IRS

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In today's increasingly digital world, the line between virtual reality and physical reality is often blurred by advances in technology that seem to be making interpersonal contact obsolete. A recent ruling from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, however, draws a clear line in physical reality for religious organizations seeking "church" status under the tax code. In Foundation of Human Understanding v. United States, the Court of Appeals affirmed that a religious organization that primarily disseminated religious teachings through broadcasts over radio and the Internet did not qualify as a church for purposes of section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.

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