Paul L. Caron

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The IRS Scandal, Day 7

IRS, Exempt Organization Field Examination Flowchart:


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You're right, AMTbuff. Such honesty by Lerner should be credited.

Lerner’s admission of IRS’s inappropriate behavior was pre-planned public disclosure

Last week, Lois Lerner, head of the tax exempt division of the Internal Revenue Service dropped a bombshell: The IRS had been applying extra scrutiny to conservative groups claiming tax exempt status.

The revelation came seemingly out of the blue, in response to a question during a panel at an American Bar Association conference, leaving the audience baffled, according to reports.

As it turns out, it was not a spontaneous revelation. The question, said outgoing IRS Commissioner Steven Miller in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee Friday, was planted, as part of a prepared strategy for the IRS to release this information to the public.

Posted by: Woody | May 17, 2013 12:45:01 PM

Woody, you didn't give Lerner credit for announcing the problem before the report came out. She beat it by six days.

It's churlish to ask why she didn't come clean a year ago. Everybody knows that you only confess after you are certain you will be exposed. Bill Clinton taught us that, and Nixon before him.

Posted by: AMTbuff | May 16, 2013 4:35:56 PM

Nice flow chart, but it has nothing to do with this situation. No organization needs to apply for 501(c)(4) recognition. They need only file a form 990 for the relevant tax year. If the IRS disagrees with the assertion of tax exempt status, THEN it will start an exam. Filing a form 1023 and requesting recognition of 501(c)(4) status is kind of like asking for a private letter ruling before taking a business deduction on your form 1040. It's prudent, but not necessary.

Posted by: Publius Novus | May 16, 2013 10:53:41 AM

For anyone wondering what it means to chill political speech (the type most deserving of protection), here is eyewitness testimony:

Jennifer Stefano I was just a stay-at-home mother. I was pregnant with another baby, and I wanted to do what was right. My Tea Party group was becoming really large and I couldn't run the money and the donations through my bank account. I was advised the IRS would come after you for that.

Willis: "Well, what were they asking you?"

Stefano: You know, "Send us your Facebook pages, your Twitter pages," and I said, "Does that include personal pages?" and they said, "Everything." They wanted to know your personal relationships with politicians and political parties. And I asked, "What would happen if I don't send this to you?" and they said, they made an insinuation like, "Look, it can be considered perjury if you omit things from the IRS." I'm a pregnant stay-at-home mother on one income, I thought, "Oh, my goodness, I'm not doing anything." I stopped.

Here's more: “It was pretty much a proctology exam through your earlobe”

Posted by: Yo Gabba Gabba | May 16, 2013 10:34:11 AM

I enjoyed this from The Daily Caller article:

Lois Lerner, the IRS official now at the center of a scandal involving tax agents who selectively targeted conservative groups, is scheduled to receive an award and give the commencement address at Western New England University School of Law. ... In its announcement of Lerner’s award, the university praised her for enhancing transparency and promoting good government ethics at the IRS.

Posted by: Woody | May 16, 2013 8:12:48 AM

How about yanking the tax exempt status of any organization, left, right or center, that engages in any kind of political activity whatsoever. Why should the taxpayers pick up the dime for this?

Posted by: George | May 16, 2013 7:42:46 AM

Reform tax code, Close IRS.

Posted by: Dmitry | May 16, 2013 6:14:41 AM