Friday, May 17, 2013

A simple take on the IRS Situation

Alright Jim, you talked me into it... Posting some thoughts on the blog. 

I'm refusing to call this a scandal, it just doesn't seem like a big deal to me.
My simple take on the "IRS Situation" and my attempt to inform normal people: 

501(c)4s are tax-exempt non-profit organizations. More specifically, according to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), 501(c)(4)s are:

1) “civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare,

2) "or local associations of employees, the membership of which is limited to the employees of a designated person or persons in a particular municipality,

3) "and the net earnings of which are devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes.”

"Neither 501(c)(3)s nor 501(c)(4) earnings may benefit a private shareholder or individual."

501(c)4s can engage in political campaign activity, so long as this is consistent with the organization’s purpose and IS NOT THE ORGANIZATIONS PRIMARY ACTIVITY.

Are people who name their organization "Tea Party" or "Constitution" surprised they are being asked how they are spending money, or to clarify their organization based on the requirements listed above?

To be honest any organization that files for this exempt status should have records, plans, mission statements, and financial evidence ready to prove why they qualify.

I was trying to think of great liberal phrases that organizations could use to target organizations raising money for liberal candidates. All I could come up with was "More Atheists for Government" or "We Fight for Obamacare" or I think the IRS would look into organizations seeking non-profit status with names like those. 

Can anyone come up with some other liberal key words to target? 


James R said...

I'm stunned. I haven't taken a close look at this issue and assumed it was the IRS targeting individuals associated with conservative groups. This is crazy. Why would the director of the IRS be released for this? Why would you not look at an organization, applying as a charitable organization, that appeared to have a political agenda based on its name?

Of course, if the IRS was only singling out politically sounding organizations with conservative names, that would be wrong. I won't even say that perhaps more liberal groups were not examined because they were smart enough not to call their quasi-political 'charity' something like The Pot Party Socialists.

Has anyone found out how many tax dollars were saved by refusing obvious political organizations 501(c)(4) tax status?

Big Myk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Myk said...

First, this is why we need more people blogging -- to get some new topics out there. This is the first post we've ever had on 501(c)(4) organizations or taxation.

As for terms in an organization's name to look for to flag liberal groups which might be skirting the 501(c)(4) requirements, I've thought of a few: whiner, redistribution, immoral, atheist, socialist, tax and spend, feminazi, brainwash, govenment control, baby killer, tree hugger, soft on crime.

James R said...

This reminds me of another major reason for this blog. The Lecture Series, the Propagation, the News Letter, the email List were all essentially responses to dinner conversations which deteriorated into the same repeatable patterns. We realized that, to put it bluntly, we didn't know what we were talking about. Thus, one person prepared a topic—and then we talked. This succeeded beyond our expectations.

On Sunday, Bill, Kate, Mom, and I talked about Kate's post. In addition to Kate's expertise, Bill had clients involved in this work. It was an enjoyable and informative talk.

James R said...

As time and more facts go on, it appears Kate nailed it. This was no political scandal, both in the actual sense—we have forgotten about it already—and the "true" sense.