Skip to main content

Abortion Protests
Conservatives have been up in arms about IRS inquires which allegedly were overly intrusive as to the contents of their protest activity.

There's actually a common-sense, well-established answer as to why these questions are being asked. Sherman, let's set the Wayback Machine to 1975, and take a look at IRS Revenue Ruling 75-384, in which the organization seeking tax-exempt status was described as follows:

Advice has been requested whether a nonprofit organization formed to promote world peace and disarmament by nonviolent direct action including acts of civil disobedience qualifies for exemption from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954....

Protest demonstrations are conducted at military establishments, Federal agencies, and industrial companies involved with military and defense operations. ...The protest demonstrations constitute the primary activity of the organization. They are designed to draw public attention to the views of the organization and to exert pressure on governmental authorities. To derive the maximum publicity of an event, demonstrators are urged to commit acts of civil disobedience. Participants deliberately block vehicular or pedestrian traffic, disrupt the work of government, and prevent the movement of supplies. These activities are violations of local ordinances and breaches of public order. Incidental to demonstrations, leaflets are dispersed presenting the views of the organization.  

So, can you obtain tax-exempt status under such facts? Hells no, rules the IRS. Not as a 501(c)(3):
In this case the organization induces or encourages the commission of criminal acts by planning and sponsoring such events. The intentional nature of this encouragement precludes the possibility that the organization might unfairly fail to qualify for exemption due to an isolated or inadvertent violation of a regulatory statute. Its activities demonstrate an illegal purpose which is inconsistent with charitable ends. Moreover, the generation of criminal acts increases the burdens of government, thus frustrating a well recognized charitable goal, i.e., relief of the burdens of government.
And not as a 501(c)(4) either:
Section 1.501(c)(4)-1(a)(2)(i) of the regulations provides that an organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare if it is primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community. An organization embraced within this section is one which is operated primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterments and social improvements.

Illegal activities, which violate the minimum standards of acceptable conduct necessary to the preservation of an orderly society, are contrary to the common good and the general welfare of the people in a community and thus are not permissible means
of promoting the social welfare for purposes of section 501(c)(4) of the Code. Accordingly, the organization in this case is not operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare and does not qualify for exemption from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(4).

Got it? Protest groups were asked these questions to ensure their protests were legal. That's all this is.

(N.B. Other IRS activities in singling out conservative groups by name were plainly more problematic than this.)

Originally posted to Adam B on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by Pro Choice, Abortion, and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  And the IRS has been doing this for years. (19+ / 0-)

    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. -- Dr. Seuss

    by Fe Bongolan on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:12:23 AM PDT

  •  What about this part: (9+ / 0-)

    from the Daily Caller article:

    In the case of the Coalition for Life of Iowa, the Thomas More Society says, an IRS agent called the group and requested a letter pledging that the group would not protest Planned Parenthood.

    “In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood. Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved,” the Thomas More Society wrote in their announcement.

    If what they're claiming there is true, they were being told they couldn't do any protesting, not just illegal protesting.
  •  I have been involved in establishing a 501C(3) (14+ / 0-)

    in the past and can understand why such actions would disqualify an organization.  I can remember the application process where we had to provide demographic data proving that there was a need for our organization and that its mission was significantly different from that of other 501s in the immediate area.  (we were trying to establish an FQHC)

    It is SOP for the IRS to exercise close scrutiny since tax exempt status confers many operational advantages to a group as compared to a for profit group

    •  I also pursued the idea of (7+ / 0-)

      obtaining non-profit/tax-exempt status for a spay/neuter fund.  As benign as that sounds, the paperwork, time and money involved, to include hiring an expert, i.e., accountant/lawyer, stopped me in my tracks.

      I did spend time studying the law and composing a Mission Statement.

      It's been my sense since this broke (a year after Issa knew about it BTW) that the Baggers simply believed that they could get themselves set up as a tax-exempt organization and had no idea what was involved.  Any additional scrutiny would constitute an outrage for them.

      I find myself if not being supportive of the IRS, at least not outraged either.

      When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

      by msmacgyver on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:40:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it cost us $5000 in legal fees alone (8+ / 0-)

        and the work was done partially pro-bono.  The consultant we hired to help with the set up of the organization cost about another $3000.

        I have to wonder who is bearing the cost of establishing these 501s as the costs associated with just the set up is not chicken feed.  

        •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)

          The whining and complaining by the Baggers started over a year ago and Issa was aware of it, as I said (link to follow).

          The Baggers, RW and GOP are hoping to tie this to the IRS involvement with ACA mandate.  Just another reason to hate and distrust Obamacare.

          As I've said, I'm not all warm and fuzzy about the IRS, but I do think those involved were taking shortcuts and doing their jobs as they understood it.

          I had a run-in with the IRS last year and my acountant's firm got involved on my behalf.  It was frustrating and could have been very expensive in penalty plus accounting fees.  As it worked out, the IRS was at fault and the firm waived their fee.  Just lucky and if the Baggers had run into any kind of opposition from the IRS, their knee-jerk reaction would have been over-the-top...as it apparently was.

          When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

          by msmacgyver on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:50:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am involved in a dispute with IRS over (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            msmacgyver, Adam B, Nova Land

            capital gains vs ordinary income over some stocks I cashed out to pay medical bills.  My attorney has told me to expect them to carry this to the federal courts because of the number of people who had to cash out stocks and bonds 2007-2009.  If the IRS wins its point, it could change how such instruments are regarded for tax purposes

            •  You have my sympathy (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nova Land

              Have you contacted an accountant who specializes in IRS problems?  

              After the situation with the IRS last year, the accounting firm I had been working with for several years decided to terminate our relationship.  It was a costly adventure for them and even though I had almost no input into the IRS situation and it was legitimately all on them, my accountant turned out to be a bit of a flake and this led to other problems unrelated to the IRS.  I was collateral damage in a sense; however, I went to H&R block for my 2012 return and was amazed at their levels of expertise.

              Seriously, I suggest you try H&R Block, just for a look-see which as I understand it, would be free.  My tax-preparer impressed me so much and I would trust her to sort out any problem I would ever have.  

              When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

              by msmacgyver on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:07:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  H&R (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                msmacgyver, Nova Land

                I tried having H&R Block do our partnership taxes once.  I had been doing them for years and one year just didn't have the time.  After the first meeting, he put things together.  I met with him and found numerous errors and had to explain a lot to him about the forms.  After his second try, I said thanks and filed a heavily revised version of their product (I paid them and checked self-prepared on the return).   The next year I found a local practitioner that did them correctly the first time and continued using him until we incorporated.

                Your mileage may vary.

                Government can't restrict free speech, but corporations can? WTF

                by kyoders on Tue May 21, 2013 at 12:02:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Partnership returns are a different animal (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  msmacgyver, Nova Land, BachFan

                  and most H&RB employees have never been trained to do them, and many offices don't even have the software. When I worked for the company, we had a list of return types we shouldn't even attempt, and the phone numbers of the handful of highly trained (Enrolled Agent) colleagues who would do them right.

                  That said, finding a local independent office that handles them well is also a good solution.  

                  •  I did it (3+ / 0-)

                    That's interesting.  I guess the guy at the local branch didn't know that, because he obviously had never seen a 1065 before, but said he could do it.  Ours was a pretty simple case, but I managed to figure it out and do them correctly, I think, for 5 or 6 years.  I admit that it took a lot of research, and a lot of angst, and not a few unfruitful calls to "experts."  Yet another area where the tax code needs to be simplified and clarified.  I imagine a lot of the confusing parts are loopholes designed for people using partnerships for reasons other than it is supposed to be the simplest form of doing business when there are multiple people involved.

                    Government can't restrict free speech, but corporations can? WTF

                    by kyoders on Tue May 21, 2013 at 01:35:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Absolutely...YMMV (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Nova Land

                  The H&R Block rep who did my taxes was a very experienced tax preparer with many additional credits to her resume.  A long time H&R B employee, she also teaches and lectures.  

                  I got lucky to be sure.

                  When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

                  by msmacgyver on Tue May 21, 2013 at 01:49:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  my current attorney is a CPA and a tax specialist (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                msmacgyver

                as well as being a member of the Bar and admitted to practice before US Superior Court.  He has been in practice almost 50 years and has been my attorney/accountant for the last 30 years.  So far, I have no problems with his advice

                •  That's encouraging...you didn't (0+ / 0-)

                  sound as if you had a lot of confidence in your attorney with this post:

                  I am involved in a dispute with IRS over
                  capital gains vs ordinary income over some stocks I cashed out to pay medical bills.  My attorney has told me to expect them to carry this to the federal courts because of the number of people who had to cash out stocks and bonds 2007-2009.

                  When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

                  by msmacgyver on Tue May 21, 2013 at 01:53:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  it is a lack of confidence in the IRS to admit (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    msmacgyver

                    their audit was wrong and they misidentified the funds in question as ordinary income instead of capital gains.  We have submitted a library of paperwork refuting their position but I understand about 20 other local farmers are having similar problems with the IRS over what constitutes capital gains vs ordinary income (caveat: this involves land law and what disposal of fixtures to the farm qualifies as capital gains and which qualifies as ordinary income)

                    We have already whittled their estimate of amount due by $20,000.

                    •  Yes, getting the IRS to admit to error (0+ / 0-)

                      is what happened in my case, too.  And, it was what eventually got my accountant/tax preparer in over her head.  She simply could not deal and a more senior person was assigned to my case.

                      In the meantime, I continued to receive very scary notices from the IRS despite my being assured by the accounting firm that "everything is being taken care of" and other emails to that effect.

                      I think there is a certain kind of "civilian" who can deal with the IRS culture and for those who simply cannot, like my original tax preparer, it can only go from bad to worse.

                      When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

                      by msmacgyver on Tue May 21, 2013 at 02:58:29 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I am getting the scary notices and they are (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        msmacgyver

                        garnishing a part of my SSDI payments.

                        •  I am so sorry this is happening to you (0+ / 0-)

                          From what I could gather, the local IRS people my accountants were talking to were simply pushing paper and not trying to solve the problem.  Some of the gibberish I was told was just that...gibberish.

                          Can you offer to make a settlement with the IRS?

                          When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

                          by msmacgyver on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:37:45 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  it is my position that there is no need for a (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            msmacgyver

                            compromise as the legislation behind the termination of the No Net Cost Program and Tobacco Stabilization Program was explicit how the buy out would be treated tax wise.  The IRS has changed the rules without any sort of legislative change as far as our research indicates

                          •  I wish you success with this (0+ / 0-)

                            My penalty would have been in excess of $6,000 and like you, I would never have conceded.  

                            When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

                            by msmacgyver on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:11:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm confused (0+ / 0-)

                      Your earlier post says your dispute involves the dispostion of stock.

                      "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                      by Old Left Good Left on Tue May 21, 2013 at 03:38:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  it is a picky point governing the Tobacco Buyout (0+ / 0-)

                        Program where tobacco companies bought out growers' allotments and retired the Tobacco Stabilization program.  Allotments were in units of pounds and payment was a certain amount to growers and a certain amount to landowners.  For those of us who were in both categories, we received both types of payments but a proportion of each payment was allocated to capital gains since the allotments could be bought and sold the same as stocks or land while the amount allocated to growers was purely ordinary income.  In 2009, the IRS stopped treating these blended payments in accordance to the legislation that governed this program and instead treated all payments as ordinary income (including a 20,000 lb allotment that I purchased from a farm that was being converted to a development.  They refused to recognize that I had any basis in the pounds at all)

        •  Link/excerpt to Issa info (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          entlord

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

          "I knew what was approximately in it when we made the allegations about a year ago. This is one of those things where it's been, in a sense, an open secret, but you don't accuse the IRS until you've had a nonpartisan, deep look. That's what the IG has done. That's why the IGs in fact exist within government, is to find this kind of waste and fraud and abuse of power."

          Issa, according to an aide, asked the IG for an investigation last spring, after hearing allegations of selective targeting of conservative groups. The IG told him in a letter this summer that he was looking into it.

          The groups singled-out were applying for nonprofit status as "social welfare" organizations, a loophole that allows political groups to conceal donors and accept unlimited contributions.”

          When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

          by msmacgyver on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:52:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I suspect Rove? someone was teaching TP'ers this (0+ / 0-)

        I have to believe that there were seminars, webinars, meetings, at which local TP groups were instructed how to form a 501c4 and how wonderful it is as a vehicle for circumventing all that nasty disclosure-and-limits stuff that the mooslim nazi Federal Election Commission makes you do.

        It's no different than the industry that's teaching Romney wannabees how to stash money in offshore bank accounts and IRAs stuffed with penny stocks that magically mushroom the next nanosecond into gazillions of dollars. People do not come up with these ideas on their own; there's a promotion team.

        And guys, if you are trying to avoid being classified as a political party, using the description "Party" in your name doesn't seem like a particularly smart move.

        •  We have those trainings as well. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adam B

          There are occasional workshops put on for progressives seeking to set up non-profits.  Nothing nefarious about explaining the process to people and advising them on how to properly comply with the law.

      •  I don't think they're that bad at all. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright

        its a bunch of yes/no boxes to check, projection of finances, and a description of the org.  that's about it.

  •  Singling out groups by name (8+ / 0-)

    is a form of profiling similar to police singling out young males of color as potential trouble makers.

    I have a friend that worked for the IRS a few decades back and he told me the other night that they routinely took a closer look at those individuals (he didn't do organziations) that identified as "patriots" or other keywords because the fact was that a higher proportion of those individuals were the ones that didn't believe in paying taxes and followed it up by not paying their due taxes.

    The difficulty is in how to use reasonable profiling to identify criminals without turning into a prejudicial activity against a generally innocent catagory of people.

    Always a sticky wicket.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:20:17 AM PDT

    •  Profiling can not be applied to an organization (0+ / 0-)

      unless you agree with Mitt Romney that "corporations are people too."

      Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

      by ROGNM on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:21:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure it can (0+ / 0-)

        profiling is no different then categorizing. We categorize things of all sorts all the time. A corporation does not have to be a person to be categorized as this or that. In fact they are already categorized... or profiled... as 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 based on their application. To fit them to some more specific profile based on what is contained on the application is a next logical step.

        Now... that's just a "plain english" application of the words. There may be a legal one that I am unaware of that you are thinking of but plain english allows the comparison.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Thu May 23, 2013 at 08:53:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Profiling based on name is not the same as (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Penny GC, msmacgyver, catfood

      profiling based on race or nationality and people need to stop making that comparison.  Under the 14th amendment, profiling by race/nationality is given strict scrutiny by our courts.  But profiling based on the name "patriots" would only be problematic if the government does not have a "rational basis" to conduct the profiling.  

      They are two very different things under the law.  It pains me to see lawyers reccing your comment.  

      •  It doesn't have a rational basis ... (3+ / 0-)

        ... to single out "patriot" groups and not "progress" groups on name alone.

        •  That is your opinion. Courts give government a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gator Keyfitz

          lot of leeway when profiling is not done on the basis of race or nationality.  If there is enough evidence to show "patriot" groups have engaged in acts that break the law (avoiding taxes, violating 501c(3) rules) than courts may give leeway for extra scrutiny.  Under your theory, the government would have no rational basis to profile a new neo-nazi groups or a new gang that pops up b/c that specific groups didn't have a history of violence.  We know in practice, that isn't the way it works.

          I'd invite any of these tea party groups to bring a suit if they feel they were unfairly profiled.  I don't like their chances of success on the merits.  

          A law, when challenged, must have a rational basis without which it might violate right of a person under the U.S. Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. Any rationally related justification will suffice, however the legislative reasoning must not be arbitrary.[4]

          To understand the concept of rational basis review, it is easier to understand what it is not. Rational basis review is not intelligent basis review; the legislature is merely required to be rational, not smart. A court applying rational basis review will virtually always uphold a challenged law unless every proffered justification for it is a grossly illogical non sequitur (or even worse, a word salad). In 2008, Justice John Paul Stevens reaffirmed the lenient nature of rational basis review in a concurring opinion: "[A]s I recall my esteemed former colleague, Thurgood Marshall, remarking on numerous occasions: 'The Constitution does not prohibit legislatures from enacting stupid laws.'"[5]

          •  I agree that actual rational basis law is that lax (3+ / 0-)

            But where is the evidence that these groups did present suspicious applications?

          •  lawsuit (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            burlydee, catfood

            If what I've read so far is true, none of these groups were ultimately denied.  And I've also read that there is nothing preventing the group from proceeding on the assumption the application will be approved, so this did not prevent any of them from doing anything that and instant approval would have allowed.

            IANL, but I think they would have to show actual harm for a lawsuit to have standing.  So my understanding is that they would have had zero standing to file any lawsuit.

            The only potential "harm" they might have suffered was to stoke their already irrational fear/hatred of all things government.  As many have said, there is no cure for stupid, and unless they voluntarily get counseling, I see no remedy for that.

            Am I correct, or is my non-lawyer analysis flawed?

            As an aside, I found it rather ironic that they complain about being targeted because they are "conservative" or "Republican" or whatever word they want to use.  Does anybody remember back when this all started that the media was initially calling them conservative and several of them were bleating about being non-ideological?  At least we can now all agree that they are just more front groups for GOP/conservatives.

            Government can't restrict free speech, but corporations can? WTF

            by kyoders on Tue May 21, 2013 at 12:16:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not really (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          acerimusdux, Gator Keyfitz

          You are assuming that applications from "Progress" organizations and "Tea Party" organizations were equivalently well-prepared.  Until applications--as filed--are made available for analysis your argument is simply a smokescreen.

          "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

          by Old Left Good Left on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:41:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  rational basis (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          catfood

          I have no idea if this is in any way related to what happened, but hypothetically:

          1) Before any "targeting" was done, they found a higher than unusual number of applications that warranted further scrutiny.

          2) They looked for patterns in those that warranted further scrutiny.

          3) They found that a statistically significant percentage had "tea party" or "patriot" in their name.

          Do you think that would have passed a "rational basis" test?  I'm not saying this is what they did, just curious if these circumstances would have made this any less problematic.

          Government can't restrict free speech, but corporations can? WTF

          by kyoders on Tue May 21, 2013 at 12:28:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sure it does (0+ / 0-)

          if evidence shows that "patriots" tend to be those that oppose taxes of any kind and that among their number are those that break the law by not paying taxes or lying on their returns, applications, etc... if your agency is specifically tasked with enforcing those regulations.

          If "progress" or "progressive" can be shown to be also be a keyword that highlights people breaking tax law then sure they are equivalent but if not then not.

          This singling out had nothing to do with partisan politics but rather a specific form of politics that leads to a particular form of breaking the law that this particular agency is charged with enforcing.

          So yeah... they may not have done it well... but it has a very rational basis.

          "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

          by Andrew C White on Thu May 23, 2013 at 08:49:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, if that's the case... (0+ / 0-)

            ...that groups using the words "tea party" or "patriots" are more likely to be violating tax laws, then it would follow that more of their applications would have been denied.  But from what I've read, that isn't what happened.  

      •  I agree nt (0+ / 0-)

        When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

        by msmacgyver on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:43:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Plain english allows the comparison (0+ / 0-)

        quite easily. As does logic. "Profile" and "categorize" being essentially synonymous in this case.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Thu May 23, 2013 at 08:54:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The inspector general's report (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burlydee, Nova Land, catfood

      found that 82% of Tea Party/Patriot/9-12 groups that applied for exemption warranted scrutiny based on their applications.

      It is not profiling--the groups picked their names, and the names specifically identifed the groups as political organizations.

      The analogy is not to stopping young AA men.  The proper analogy would be stopping young men wearing t-shirts saying "there is a better than 4 in 5 chance that I am committing a crime right now"

      "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

      by Old Left Good Left on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:37:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't agree that the IRS used (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nova Land, catfood

      "profiling".  The IRS has guidelines for approving any organization for non-profit/tax-exampt status.  In this case, the use of the word "party" would, IMO, indicate a political agenda.

      I and hopefully so many other voters will not be convinced that the IRS will screw up re ACA mandate.  This, IMO, is why the issue has been brought up now, not earlier.  Issa knew about this issue a year ago.

      When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

      by msmacgyver on Tue May 21, 2013 at 10:43:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is there evidence that the... (0+ / 0-)

        ... (neutral) word "party" was the trigger? I thought it was non-neutral words/phrases.

        For example, targeting the word Green vs. Party.

        As far as the ACA mandate, that's not going to be in the IRS's hands - the courts will decide that or intervening legislation will moot the point.

        •  IRS (0+ / 0-)

          I don't have a linked source but remember reading somewhere that the 'triggers' were words like "patriot" and "tea party".

          Yes, the IRS is responsible for specific areas of ACA.  This is why, IMO, the "scandal" is so important to the GOP.  More anti-ACA in time for the 2014 elections.

          http://factcheck.org/...

          1/22/10 - excerpt: It would be up to the IRS to verify that individuals are complying with the health insurance mandate, and to collect the tax penalty from them if they aren’t. Both the House and Senate bills contain sections that would amend the Internal Revenue Code and require either health insurance companies or employers to provide individuals with documents containing the specifics of their insurance coverage (e.g., name(s) on the insurance policy, period of insurance coverage, etc.). Individuals would then submit that information with their federal tax returns as proof of coverage. The IRS would be responsible for verifying that health insurance is acceptable.

          When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

          by msmacgyver on Wed May 22, 2013 at 02:48:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Could Democrats all around the country have (0+ / 0-)

    started forming different 401(c)(4)s with "Democratic Party" in their group names and not have gotten more scrutiny based on the names of their groups?

  •  No problem at all, they can even illegally protest (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright

    they just can't do it on the taxpayer's dime.

  •  The inescapable, tragic conclusion (0+ / 0-)

    Is to get rid of tax exempt organizations altogether. As someone who serves on a board of a nonprofit arts organization, it breaks my heart. But the truth is this. An organization that uses public resources and does not pay taxes is in a sense shifting its tax burden elsewhere. The decision to allow a business to enjoy tax exempt status is made bureaucratically, not democratically. And nonprofit organizations make their decisions with boards of directors, which by and large fail to make decisions on behalf of the general public, regarding their dues paying members as "customers." To me, this looks like a form of taxation without representation.

  •  The issue of deductibility for POLITICAL ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright

    ... activities is a thicket. The concepts are clear, but the ways to judge such activities are not.

    Frankly, I don't blame the IRS group dealing with this flood of 501c applications. The three times I've done 501c applications, I've waited several months each for the IRS to approve obviously exempt-worthy groups, ones with no political scent to begin with.

    Yes, "targeting" is a different issue, but the subject area itself is a thorny one. I'm not surprised this group slaving away in a field office got little guidance from the IRS gurus in DC.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:59:23 AM PDT

  •  Comments (0+ / 0-)

    Filtering requests by "patriots" or similar terms is silly.  (And difficult to make stick.  I'm sure the Koch operation and its ilk have figured out how to stuff enough tax-exempt activity into their charters to give them a fighting chance.)

    But it's hardly a great scandal.  Simply some bureaucratic overreach in the local IRS office that we now know wasn't confined to conservatives or teabaggers.  Even if I were trying to promote this to a great scandal, it's basically a few IRS examiners going Rambo on 501c's, not good and something that needs to be addressed, but not the greatest scandal since Watergate.

    Then again, they've tried to make the same claim of Bengazhi, based on how someone chose to label it as it was coming down.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site