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View Diary: Liberal groups received same IRS letter that ignited Tea Party outrage (149 comments)

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  •  "Those are just two of the salient points Johnston (0+ / 0-)

    makes to give the critical context behind this scandal. He also points out that the IRS is tasked with the vague and mushy directive to distinguish between groups are "primarily engaged" in politics versus those that are primarily engaged in "social welfare," ".

    Lawrence O'Donnell,MSNBC has been talking about the "real" IRS scandal:

    "Internal Revenue Service agents have been struggling to do their jobs–which have been made essentially impossible by an incorrect interpretation of the law that the IRS made in 1959. It was then that the IRS changed the language of the law without any authority to do so. Here is how the tax law was written in its latest update in 1954 on 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations. The 501(c)(4) designation was to apply only to: “Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.”

    But a 1959 interpretation guideline written by the IRS says that: ”To be operated exclusively to promote social welfare, an organization must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare…”  Clare Kim,

    It would be so sweet if all the bru-ha-ha over this "targeting" of conservative ogranizations by the IRS turned into something really helpful, like the IRS going back to inforcing the law as it was written, using the "exclusively operated" instead of "primarily operated" as the basis for qualifying for 501(c)(4) status.

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