Discussion:IRS apologizes for inappropriately targeting conservative political groups in 2012 election

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Discussion Forum Index --> General Chat --> IRS apologizes for inappropriately targeting conservative political groups in 2012 election


Skassel (talk|edits) said:

10 May 2013
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/irs-apologizes-for-inappropriately-targeting-conservative-political-groups-in-2012-election/2013/05/10/5afef7b8-b980-11e2-b568-6917f6ac6d9d_story.html?hpid=z1

Snowbird (talk|edits) said:

10 May 2013
Sounds familiar, but I don't believe that Nixon could get the IRS to do his bidding. Obama probably did not even have ask. Someone posted several years ago that an IRS agent showed up for an audit with a brief case political campaign sticker on the sides.

EatonCPA (talk|edits) said:

10 May 2013
I think those organizations brought it on themselves, apology or not. To me any political organization should never be tax-exempt, and that includes some churches.

That IRS agent was an idiot. I hope you complained to their supervisor.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

11 May 2013
Is the Hatch Act still in force? In the late 80's I complained that a field auditor showed up with stickers on his briefcases. These were for a local election, not statewide or national, but it was offensive. This was the same bastard who told me he had to interview my client so 'he could look into his eyes' to see how truthful he was. I told him the man was a PDT.

Podolin (talk|edits) said:

11 May 2013
OK, I'll bite. What is a PDT?

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

11 May 2013
Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer.

The guy was a Catholic school teacher but every time this auditor would come up with a question for him, that I relayed, he would go nuclear, screaming at the top of his lungs on the phone.

Fr. Mackelhenry (talk|edits) said:

12 May 2013
Good I hope they do it again. Act first and apologize later but by all means act. In a spirit of bi-parasitism (spelling intentional) I also strongly support the immediate revival of Sen. Grassley's investigation of the so-called non-profit multimillionaire huckster ministers. Throw them in jail. They prey on the poor and the ignorant.

By the way, someone needs to make da*n sure that Eastwood got a 1099 for his appearance, even if it was the Democrats who paid him. Strike that. He did such a good job that Congress should pass a special law declaring his fee to be tax free.

PollyAdler (talk|edits) said:

12 May 2013
Any other laws you want the Congress to pass while they're at it?

Fr. Mackelhenry (talk|edits) said:

12 May 2013
Yes indeed. We need an immediate law which prohibits absentee voting from a hospital bed or nursing home. This will help insure that the decrepit, grey haired pachyderms cannot stage a national election comeback. Also, I encourage all right thinking Democrats to send a donation to Ralph Reed or some other far right ding-a-ling as soon as possible, these lunatics MUST be permitted to drag their Party even further into the abyss.

PollyAdler (talk|edits) said:

12 May 2013
You're on a roll and right as rain as usual. Any final comments?

Fr. Mackelhenry (talk|edits) said:

12 May 2013
Yes. I hope to h*ll that the Elephants get rid of Clinton. She always manages to say the wrong thing and I don't want her running for president...remember "cookies"? Her latest: What difference does it make....

AND we need to find someone soon. It can't be Biden or Clinton. Cruz is a huge future threat. I don't think, I KNOW he he is Lyndon Johnson reincarnated as an Elephant.

I would attempt to lay odds on the next presidential election, but as with the IRS' Ms. Lerner, I must plead "Not good at math".

("political campaign sticker" I can't tell you how many traffic tickets I've avoided with my Obama stickers, but when I get out in the country I have to cover them with electrician's tape and hang my little bust of Reagan from my rear view mirror (made in China).

I thank Skassel for posting this article, and I applaud the IRS for trying to protect the treasury from these Tea Party scofflaws.

Snowbird (talk|edits) said:

12 May 2013
Crow, you started posting and editing about 3 am ... did the institution forget to lock your door again?

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

12 May 2013
The night watchman slipped me a laptop into the padded cell.  :)

When the Elephants destroy Clinton, what they need to do next is to impeach Obama. That's right, it's time for another impeachment. Charge: excessive golf play.

The Quick Draw McGraws on the other side of the aisle are just itching to get an impeachment in and we need them to do it. An impeachment will guarantee even more black voter turnout in the next general election breaking the already astounding record set in the last election.

Taocpa (talk|edits) said:

2013-05-13
This was also done during the Nixon Administration. Not surprised. I know the Clinton Administration did it as well, it just never made the news. I only know because a group I worked for was targeted for an audit when Clinton was president. The auditor admitted as much.

The IRS is not a political arm nor should it be.

Tom

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

14 May 2013
I erased the last two comments I made as Polly and Mackelhenry, people can read them in the history if they want to. Ignore the other comments as well.

It appears that Miller and Lerner of the IRS misled Congress; if they ever thought this was a proper action by EO, there would be no need to mislead anyone and it appears they did. So I disagree with that. Did Shulman mislead Congress also? I'm sure they will try to find out. Whether this will lead to the White House or not is still an open question.

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

14 May 2013
I am adding this comment I saw today by Sen. Carl Levin:

"Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, said the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations -- which he chairs -- now needs to expand an investigation already under way.

That one has focused on the IRS's "failure to enforce the law requiring that tax-exempt 501(c)4s be engaged exclusively in social welfare activities, not partisan politics," he said in a statement. The IRS' announcement about targeting of some conservative groups raises questions over its impartiality in doing so, he added."

CNN.com

So if the line employees who reviewed applications would do their job on EVERY 501(c)4 status application, there would be no need to single any group out for "the treatment". I think Levin's comment serves to put this in perspective. No group or person should use this status for partisan politics. If they need more employees to thoroughly review every application, then raise the filing fee.

Podolin (talk|edits) said:

14 May 2013
The guy was a Catholic school teacher Hmm, I guess Spell does not monitor this thread. Was he Catholic and a school teacher? Or was he a teacher at a Catholic school? Or both? Interested minds want to know. Not sure why.

MP-JD-LLM (talk|edits) said:

15 May 2013
Crow, Polly, Gazoo, Fr Mc, are you people nuts. Don't answer. It was a rhetorical question?

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

16 May 2013
You're right. Look at what Mackelhenry wrote here, absurd.

Yes indeed. We need an immediate law which prohibits absentee voting from a hospital bed or nursing home. This will help insure that the decrepit, grey haired pachyderms cannot stage a national election comeback. Also, I encourage all right thinking Democrats to send a donation to Ralph Reed or some other far right ding-a-ling as soon as possible, these lunatics MUST be permitted to drag their Party even further into the abyss.

(Pssst.: I'll try to find Ralph Reed's address for those Dems. who want to donate.)

Ckenefick (talk|edits) said:

17 May 2013
Two things I have to say. First, we have to go so high up to get some accountability within the IRS - All the way to Congress and the President. A little far if you ask me. Second, as a practitioner, this is no big surprise. We deal with similar varieties of IRS nonsense each and every day. It may come as a shock to those who don't deal with the IRS on a regular basis, but to the rest of us, are we really surprised? No, we shouldn't be. It is just more proof.

Harry Boscoe (talk|edits) said:

17 May 2013
Just me, probably, but I thought he taught Catholic schools.

Podolin (talk|edits) said:

18 May 2013
Yes, Harry, yet another possibility. We have a wondrous language. Even your interpretation can have two meanings. Did he teach the subject, Catholic schools? Or did he teach those Catholic schools how to run efficiently, for example.

Harry Boscoe (talk|edits) said:

18 May 2013
Ayup.

CPAdavid (talk|edits) said:

19 May 2013
Q: When does "exclusively" not mean "exclusively?"

A: When it is defined in the Internal Revenue Code.

There is so much interesting discussion these days about 501(c)(4) orgs!

Yes, sec. 501(c)(4) clearly uses the word "exclusively": "Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare..."

But turning to the regulations we discover the meaning of "promoting the social welfare": 1.501(c)(4)-1 (a)(2)(i) "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. (ii) The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office."

So, to qualify as a c4, the "primary purpose" test applies to determine exclusivity. Exclusive means "primarily," not exclusively.

That means as long as the c4 is primarily engaged in social welfare activities (which includes advocacy of a particular viewpoint that may be controversial and involve legislation) it may also dip its toes into the waters of political campaign intervention. Political expenditures may cause the organization to be subject to taxation under sec 527. For further reading: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rr81-095.pdf

If "exclusively" really meant "exclusively," then the unrelated business income tax rules would not need to exist, since any level of unrelated business activity would result in a violation of the "exclusively" requirement and would result in disqualification.

Snowbird (talk|edits) said:

19 May 2013
In the context of "Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare...", is "but" a preposition or a conjunction? And, what impact does the difference have the meaning?

ZL28 (talk|edits) said:

19 May 2013
So do we know of the 72 tea party organizations out of 300 501 (c)(4) inquiries...were they deemed compliant or non-compliant with

the law?

Secondly, if a cop pulls over someone b/c he's not white, aka racial profiling, does that make the cop racist?

Why is this not a parallel situation, effectively the "tea party" organizations are being racially profiled, does that mean

there is a consipiracy against such groups?

CPAdavid (talk|edits) said:

19 May 2013
ZL28, according to the Treasury Inspector General's report http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2013reports/201310053fr.pdf

They examined all 298 applications submitted to the IRS as of 5/31/2012 that indicated possible political campaign intervention.

72 of those applications had the word "Tea Party" in the name.

As of 12/17/2012: 108 had been approved. 28 had been withdrawn by the applicant. 0 had been denied tax-exempt status. 160 were still open for lengths of time varying between 206 and 1138 calendar days.

  • Note: the total number of applications examined varies between 296 and 300, depending on which paragraph in the report you read.

Podolin (talk|edits) said:

19 May 2013
Wow, Snowbird, that is a great observation and question! When I read it, I assumed it had been posted by Spell Czech.

Podolin (talk|edits) said:

22 May 2013
Some chuckles here. If I did not know this actual writer, I'd have suspected it was Bracket Creep: http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20130522_Sorry_about_that_little_IRS_error.html

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