Paul L. Caron

Friday, June 8, 2012

IRS Denies 501(c)(4) Status to Emerge America -- Is Crossroads GPS Next?

Crossroads-GPS-logoBloomberg, IRS Denial of Tax Exemption to U.S. Political Group Spurs Alarms:

An IRS decision revoking the tax-exempt status of a small political nonprofit organization may foreshadow an investigation into groups such as Crossroads GPS and Priorities USA that spend millions on the 2012 U.S. presidential election. At risk would be the groups’ nonprofit status, which lets them collect millions of dollars from individuals and corporations while keeping donors anonymous.

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are benefitting from such nonprofits. Crossroads GPS was started with help from former President George W. Bush’s chief political strategist, Karl Rove. Priorities USA was co-founded by Bill Burton, a former Obama aide.

The recent IRS decision sends a signal that it may turn its attention after November’s election to major nonprofits involved in this year’s election, said Marcus Owens, a lawyer and former IRS director who oversaw nonprofits. ...

The IRS decision released last month involved a so-called campaign school in which a partisan group trained candidates.  [The nonprofit is Emerge America, which works in ten states to train Democratic women candidates.]

“You are not operated primarily to promote social welfare because your activities are conducted primarily for the benefit of a political party and a private group of individuals, rather than the community as a whole,” said the IRS letter telling the group it was losing its exempt status.  [The ruling is Priv. Ltr. Rul. 2012-21-028 (Mar. 2, 2012).]

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What a misleading bit of tripe.
A Democrat group specifically breaking the IRS rules loses it's status, so typical Democrat response is to accuse a Republican one of being the same. And using fearmongering to do it.

Posted by: Fred | Jun 10, 2012 5:56:44 AM

Hmm..No more anonymous donors ?
What next; No more secret ballots ?

Posted by: M. Report | Jun 9, 2012 11:02:21 AM

Other than strictly religious entities the whole non-profit tax exempt world needs to be revisited. There is too much abuse in the non profit world. A general rule of thumb in my opinion is anything that can be done by the for profit world shouldn't be eligible for the non profit and charitable contribution status.

Posted by: cubanbob | Jun 9, 2012 9:13:05 AM

Is Media Matters next?

Posted by: Steve | Jun 9, 2012 8:38:05 AM

Nothing new here. During Clinton's years in the White House the IRS targeted many
conservative non-profits. Every once in a while they'd throw in an audit of some
liberal group.

Posted by: PTL | Jun 9, 2012 6:22:43 AM