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View Diary: Recommended Diary Incorrect - There Is No Challenge To Church Tax Exemption (81 comments)

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  •  I think a real source of confusion (5+ / 0-)

    Is the IRS terminology for a c4 - "social welfare".  In  a lot of folks minds, what else could that be but a church food pantry or a homeless shelter, etc.  I found this useful essay as part of a larger discussion at the NYT, about such groups.

    Just as 501(c)(3) organizations are often referred to as “charities,” those exempt under 501(c)(4) are called “social welfare organizations,” sometimes described as a step down from charity, or “charity-lite.” What’s the difference? Unlike charities, (c)(4)’s cannot offer their donors charitable contributions deductions on their income taxes, a serious disadvantage in fundraising; the trade-off is that (c)(4)’s can engage in unlimited lobbying in furtherance of social welfare (charities can do some), and in some candidate electoral activity (how much is debated; charities cannot do any). In addition to being more empowered politically, (c)(4)’s are permitted to confer somewhat more benefit on their members, their neighborhood or some other group that cannot qualify as a charitable class.

    Another essay in the same debate has some interesting thoughts on how to better regulate c4's.

    Section 6033 should be amended to subject (c)(4)'s to the same public disclosure requirements that apply to private foundations, including the names of donors.
    Requiring a timely filed exemption application would reduce the number of “pop-up” (c)(4)s that are formed before an election season and then quickly disappear like “pop-up” Halloween stores. In addition, enforcing the distribution prohibition to revoke exemption retroactively would serve as a deterrent to forming a (c)(4) for abusive purposes and enforcing intermediate sanctions would impose taxes on disqualified persons who receive excess economic benefits like political consultants and those that approve them.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 12:35:06 PM PDT

    •  Could be. But the idea that (4+ / 0-)

      Members of Congress want to even touch church tax exemptions is so far fetched as to require really extraordinary proof. Talk about political suicide. Anyone paying attention to the phony IRS scandal never heard mention of churches or charities. If there had been every charity and church would have been at the hearing.

      So I think this is just lazy people, who don't know much, who are looking for a new "outrage." Also there seem to be quite a few here who aren't as reality based as one would hope.

      Further, affiant sayeth not. 53959

      by Gary Norton on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 12:50:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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