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There is a post that confuses the tax exemption for religious and charitable organizations, 501(c)(3), with the exemption for social welfare organizations, 501(c)(4). There is no lawsuit challenging the church tax exemption.

However Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen and others are challenging the IRS regulation for 501(c)(4) "social welfare" organization arguing that under the law they must be "exclusively" engaged in social welfare, not just "primarily" so engaged.

The leeway in the definition of "primarily" has been criticized as a loophole allowing the groups to attack candidates running for office without disclosing their donors' names.

The lawsuit asks the court to rule the IRS is unlawfully interpreting Congress's intent in the 501(c)(4) law, and that 501(c)(4) groups must be barred from all political activity.

"The public has a right to know who's bank rolling these election campaigns," said Representative Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat suing the IRS with Democracy 21, Campaign Legal Center and Public Citizen Inc, liberal-leaning groups that advocate for more campaign finance transparency.

This needs to be addressed. If the IRS does not revisit the regulation hopefully this challenge will succeed. Alternatively, Congress could revisit the law and set the IRS straight. That is, of course, if there is agreement on the issue.

But no matter what, this has nothing to do with the "church" and "charitable" tax exemptions.

Originally posted to September 17, 1787 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 10:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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