On July 15, 2020, the IRS issued interim guidance (IG) providing instructions to examiners on how to inform churches of the option to authorize the Service to consider church claims for refund or requests for abatement without following the otherwise applicable procedures of Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 7611. The IRS generally must follow several procedural steps under Section 7611 before it can commence an inquiry or examination of a church.

Section 7611 and the related regulations permit a church to waive the application of these procedures by submitting a written waiver. Absent a waiver, the IRS follows these procedures even if the church initiated the contact. For example, if the IRS is requesting information to verify and process a church’s claim for refund or request for abatement.

As described in the IG, the IRS developed a voluntary written waiver process to allow more expeditious processing of these claims