TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1305:  Group Seeks Summary Judgment On Claim That Rev. Rul. 2004-6 Is So Vague That It Allows The IRS To Target Conservative Groups

IRS Logo 2Courthouse News Service,  GOP-Tied Group Presses Attack on the IRS:

A Republican-affiliated group that says the Internal Revenue Service illegally targets conservative groups seeks partial summary judgment on its claim that the IRS uses an unconstitutional test to determine tax-exempt nonprofit status.

Dallas-based Freedom Path sued the IRS and Lois G. Lerner, the former director of the agency's Exempt Organizations Division, in April 2014 in Federal Court. It claimed that as early as February 2010, the agency targeted tax-exempt applications from groups with names including the words "Tea Party" and "Patriots," asking for unnecessary information such as donor names.

Last Wednesday, Freedom Path asked the court to grant partial summary judgment because the IRS' "facts and circumstances" test is too vague and violates the Fifth Amendment. "Pursuant to Revenue Ruling 2004-6, the determination of whether a communication constitutes issue advocacy versus an exempt-function activity (i.e., political campaign intervention) is based upon a highly subjective evaluation of all the facts and circumstance on each case, instead of by reference to any clearly defined bright-line rules," the 29-page memorandum in support of the motion states. Freedom Path says it has "no way of knowing" what speech is protected and what speech would harm its tax-exempt nonprofit status.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/12/the-irs-scandal-day-1305group-seeks-summary-judgment-on-claim-that-rev-rul-2004-6-is-so-vague-that-i.html

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Comments

Best to just end the Federal Income Tax and then everyone will be tax "exempt"

Posted by: Denver | Dec 4, 2016 9:23:20 AM

Catch 22, Kafkaesque, or whatever you want to call it, some view it as a feature.

Posted by: Wodun | Dec 4, 2016 3:55:48 PM