I suspect that it's because the IRS doesn't want to spend a ton of money extracting a tiny amount of money from church donors. I'm pretty certain that the IRS makes this same choice when faced with similar non-church scenarios.
The Preacher could be speaking for himself thus this would fall under the protection of the first amendment. Pretty much case closed right there.
If you want to complain about tax exempt status complain about the large billionaire funded foundations.
Ford Foundation Rockefeller Foundation Carnegie Foundation Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Buffet Foundation etc...
Pretty much every billionaire has one, why is that? It is because these are not charities they are tax havens to protect their estates. These foundations are frauds they use to dodge income tax and estate tax. Billionaires can't pass their estates onto their children so they create a tax exempt foundation and then give the proprietorship of the foundation to their children. That is how it works. This has been going on for 100 years since the income tax started in 1913. This loophole was in the tax code from day 1. When income tax started suddenly JD Rockefeller and other robber barons became poor men because they gave all their money way to "charity" so they didn't have to pay any tax. How convenient.
~tehbigd, you have your priorities so out of whack here. Stop worrying about the five bucks some old lady puts in the tithe tray and worry about what the billionaire class is doing in robbing the country blind with their frauds.
Warren Buffett once admitted "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." He wants to raise taxes because he doesn't have to pay the taxes himself. They got us all fooled but that is about to change because people are starting to wake up and you would be wise to wake up too.
My priorities are to end preferential treatment for religious bodies under the tax code. If you do not think that is an important issue, that's fine, but it is one that is rarely discussed. Class warfare, on the other hand, is an issue that sees plenty of of air-time.
I have family that has worked in educational technology under grants from Bill and Melinda Gates as well as Michael Dell's foundation. Tax shelter or not, they are doing some amazing things in this country and others where government simply is too inefficient.
What they give out in grants is a pittance compared to what they keep for themselves. These foundations get bigger every year because they give out less than what they earn in interest. Either way all of it should be taxed.