COUNCIL ON CHURCH FINANCIAL INTEGRITY
1986 - CCFI was founded in response to the PTL scandal, to give information to churches on how to keep integrity and do things right.
1996 - A decade later CCFI began reporting about the Clinton IRS when it attempted to limit how much salary pastors could make. For many months CCFI interviewed with senior IRS officials in Washington DC, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, and key Senators and Congressmen, to learn their positions and report this news to pastors and churches across America. The result was that now, even 25 years later, pastors can legally can make a prosperous salary and benefits with confidence and have a safe harbor that protects them from IRS scrutiny.
1996 to Present - CCFI has tirelessly reported stories about friends for churches on Capitol Hill. Senators and Congressmen come and go, thus it takes continual work every month of every year to report to pastors and churches what the government is doing that might impact them, and to keep pastors and churches fully informed of what’s going on.
CCFI depends on the monthly missions giving of its Member Churches. We can only do what we do when you lift up our arms.
CCFI as a nonprofit maintains an advisory board of nonprofit legal and tax experts that volunteer their time to provide expertise to government officials when CCFI uncovers a news story about government actions that may impact churches in both positive and negative ways.
These experts serve as a blue ribbon panel to provide background and technical information to government so officials can gauge the impact their decisions may have in the real world.
CCFI worked with Senator John Ashcroft as he founded the Faith Based Initiative. CCFI experts wrote key language, such as the rule which allows churches to get government grants, and walls off the church from the grant money, so there are “no strings”, and the government cannot get into the church, because the government cannot look at anything but the grant money.
Later when Senator Ashcroft was appointed Attorney General of the United States, CCFI experts helped continue the work to establish the Faith Based Initiative in the White House as well as throughout several Federal agencies such as the US Dept of Health and Human Services, US Dept of Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, US Dept of Agriculture, US Department of Education, EPA, Homeland Security, DOJ, US Dept of Labor, US Small Business Administration, State Dept, and Veterans Administration.
CCFI experts wrote language for the Internal Revenue Code favorable to ministries.
CCFI experts testified before the IRS in 2010 to halt all church audits after CCFI broke the story that the 7611 Regulations would allow even local IRS agents to audit churches, something never intended by Congress. No churches have been audited since that time.
After the last election just occurred in November 2020, CCFI reported in December 2020 there was a little noticed change to the Internal Revenue Manual concerning churches which now needs attention. This change could have implications for church audits in the future. CCFI has been following up and is doing indepth investigative reporting on this change. You can read news updates about this here on our web site.
When the atheists challenged the ministers housing allowance in Federal court and tried to have the housing allowance declared unconstitutional, CCFI wrote the housing allowance legislation which was introduced in the Senate to stop this challenge.
A copy of the CCFI Experts Manual for Churches was ordered as a reference by the IRS for its library in the IRS National Office. This manual was consulted when the IRS wrote Publication 1828 for Churches, which contained many favorable items for Churches from the Manual.