Ah, if only they targeted everyone instead of those evil Tea Partiers, then this would look better or something.
All this outrage threatens to obscure an important point: the IRS does need to crack on political groups masquerading as social welfare organizations. Many of the nonprofit groups who claim 501(c)(4) status either flout tax law or flirt with the murky line between electioneering and issue advocacy, all while using their tax-exempt status to conceal their donors. The problem isn’t that the IRS flagged nonprofit groups for additional review. The problem is that it did so poorly, lavishing special attention on Tea Party outfits when it should have been scrutinizing everyone — or at least more egregious offenders.
Lavishing special attention isn’t quite how we’d put it.
This is easier said than done. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in January 2010, donors flocked to 501(c)(4)s as a vehicle to pump cash into elections without disclosing the source of their contributions. The number of groups applying for social-welfare status has since doubled. In 2012, the news outlet ProPublic examined 72 501(c)(4) applications from groups which claimed to have no plans to spend money on elections. They compared those documents against the subsequent tax returns. Nearly half of the groups found their plans had changed.
Actually, it’s ProPublica, and how ironic they would be noted.
In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)
In one instance, however, Ron Bell, an IRS employee, informed a lawyer representing a conservative group focused on voter fraud that the application was under review in Washington. On several other occasions, IRS officials in Washington and California sent conservative groups detailed questionnaires about their voter outreach and other activities, according to the documents.
“For the IRS to say it was some low-level group in Cincinnati is simply false,” said Cleta Mitchell, a partner in the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP who sought to communicate with IRS headquarters about the delay in granting tax-exempt status to True the Vote.
Under the crushing burden of all these Obama scandals, how long until the left pleads for us to MoveOn? Judging by some of the comments from the Time link, though, the Kool-Aid slurpers are reinforcing their bunkers.
Radical right wing cracked teanut organizations need to be watched by the IRS more closely. They follow in the footsteps of lyin Willard who hid money in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland to avoid taxes. They should have done more to make him produce 5 more years of tax returns.
From the New York Times, May 13: “The groups involved were seeking not to pay taxes on large amounts of income by claiming that they promote social welfare. No one has an automatic right to this tax exemption; those seeking one should expect close scrutiny from the government to ensure it is not evading taxes.”
IRS would be derelict by not subjecting the One Percent Tea Party Ayn Rand people and monied Israel Firsters to special IRS scrutiny. They are poor nonprofit candidates, cunningly resist taxes, and seek to conceal donor names.