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Democratic congressman sues IRS over political rules

pbrauer

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The whole IRS scandal business is as phony as a three-dollar bill. This has never been about tax exempt status, because tax exempt status can be achieved with IRS code 527. Its about keeping donors to the organization secret. Rep. Chris Van Hollen's suit is to force the IRS to interpret 501 c(4) as it was written, which was the organization had to be for "exclusively' for social welfare and not 'primarily' as it's being interpreted now. The IRS should not be in the business of interpreting if an organization is political. This change would hit both parties, by the way.

IRS CODETax Exempt?Donors Secret
501 (c)4YesYes
527YesNo



WASHINGTON — A Democratic congressman filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday, seeking to overturn a 54-year-old rule that allows social welfare groups to engage in political activity.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., seeks to force the IRS to draft new rules requiring that the tax-exempt 501(c)(4) groups comply with the section of the Internal Revenue Code for which they're named. That section requires such groups to be "operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare."

"The law is clear. What do you want us to do, put an exclamation point after exclusively?" Van Hollen told reporters.

But since 1959, the IRS has followed a rule that allowed 501(c)(4) groups to engage in political activity, as long as it wasn't their primary mission. That rule has been widely interpreted as allowing such tax-exempt groups to spend 49% of their money on politics — without disclosing where that money came from.

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Democratic congressman sues IRS over political rules
 
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humbolt

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So somehow this makes what has already occurred - what the IRS has already admitted - phony? What desperation.
 

polgara

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So somehow this makes what has already occurred - what the IRS has already admitted - phony? What desperation.
Good afternoon, humbolt. :2wave:

Since he also knows the IRS has admitted to this scandal, why would pbrauer post what he did? He cites the use of an IRS code that he doesn't agree with, which has nothing to do with the fact that the IRS has admitted wrongdoing. Does it matter which code is used to justify what was done? I don't understand this, because it is a very unusual argument, IMO. :argue:
 

specklebang

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The whole IRS scandal business is as phony as a three-dollar bill. This has never been about tax exempt status, because tax exempt status can be achieved with IRS code 527. Its about keeping donors to the organization secret. Rep. Chris Van Hollen's suit is to force the IRS to interpret 501 c(4) as it was written, which was the organization had to be for "exclusively' for social welfare and not 'primarily' as it's being interpreted now. The IRS should not be in the business of interpreting if an organization is political. This change would hit both parties, by the way.

WASHINGTON — A Democratic congressman filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday, seeking to overturn a 54-year-old rule that allows social welfare groups to engage in political activity.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., seeks to force the IRS to draft new rules requiring that the tax-exempt 501(c)(4) groups comply with the section of the Internal Revenue Code for which they're named. That section requires such groups to be "operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare."

"The law is clear. What do you want us to do, put an exclamation point after exclusively?" Van Hollen told reporters.

But since 1959, the IRS has followed a rule that allowed 501(c)(4) groups to engage in political activity, as long as it wasn't their primary mission. That rule has been widely interpreted as allowing such tax-exempt groups to spend 49% of their money on politics — without disclosing where that money came from.

snip

ay.com/story/news/politics/2013/08/21/irs-political-activity-lawsuit/2680833/]Democratic congressman sues IRS over political rules


I could not agree more. As it is, most 501(c)3s are nothing but tax liberated businesses but at least they have some purported social welfare purpose. A 501(c)4 playing the 49% game means 49% goes to politics and 51% goes into the owners pockets.

Will one lone Congressperson be able to affect the billions in tax free profits? I seriously doubt this.
 

humbolt

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Good afternoon, humbolt. :2wave:

Since he also knows the IRS has admitted to this scandal, why would pbrauer post what he did? He cites the use of an IRS code that he doesn't agree with, which has nothing to do with the fact that the IRS has admitted wrongdoing. Does it matter which code is used to justify what was done? I don't understand this, because it is a very unusual argument, IMO. :argue:
It is strange. Arguing that a 501 c4 organization should not legally receive the status it does is an argument between Van Hollen and the IRS. In the run up to the last election, more right-leaning groups applied for tax-exempt status than did left-leaning groups. This could be an attempt to undercut that perceived advantage using legal means rather than simply arranging for the IRS to stall the applications as they did before. If Van Hollen is successful, we're going to have to go back and revisit some of the other groups that have already received such status and make certain it's revoked. That might include some cherished left leaning institutions. Think Priorities USA, and the like.
 

pbrauer

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Good afternoon, humbolt. :2wave:

Since he also knows the IRS has admitted to this scandal, why would pbrauer post what he did? He cites the use of an IRS code that he doesn't agree with, which has nothing to do with the fact that the IRS has admitted wrongdoing. Does it matter which code is used to justify what was done? I don't understand this, because it is a very unusual argument, IMO. :argue:
Perhaps the person from IRS who admitted to the scandal is ignorant. The law as written by Congress says the organization must be exclusively for social welfare.:mrgreen:
 

ItAin'tFree

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LOL. Typical liberal nonsense. The IRS does the crime, the liberal goes after somebody else.
 

polgara

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Perhaps the person from IRS who admitted to the scandal is ignorant. The law as written by Congress says the organization must be exclusively for social welfare.:mrgreen:
Perhaps you are right, but why is it coming up now, after the IRS has spent 54 years doing what they do, with little or no questions being asked about which code they are following? :wow:
 

pbrauer

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Perhaps you are right, but why is it coming up now, after the IRS has spent 54 years doing what they do, with little or no questions being asked about which code they are following? :wow:
It's coming up now because the 501 c4 code allows anonymous donations. This means corporations can give money to support/oppose political candidates, something they don't want the public to know.
 

polgara

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It's coming up now because the 501 c4 code allows anonymous donations. This means corporations can give money to support/oppose political candidates, something they don't want the public to know.
Why then can individuals give in the name of Mickey Mouse, Ivan the Terrible, Tarzan, or any name they choose? How are those tracked? Is it the amount of money that is at issue here? I'm not being snarky, I really don't know the answer. :peace:
 

pbrauer

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Why then can individuals give in the name of Mickey Mouse, Ivan the Terrible, Tarzan, or any name they choose? How are those tracked? Is it the amount of money that is at issue here? I'm not being snarky, I really don't know the answer. :peace:
To be honest I really don't know. Am I to assume you're talking about the names given at the end of political ads? Like paid for by The Ethical Treatment of Millionaires Committee? I think the information would be available to the public through possibly the IRS.
 

tererun

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I could not agree more. As it is, most 501(c)3s are nothing but tax liberated businesses but at least they have some purported social welfare purpose. A 501(c)4 playing the 49% game means 49% goes to politics and 51% goes into the owners pockets.

Will one lone Congressperson be able to affect the billions in tax free profits? I seriously doubt this.
i agree to, but there is a chence because it is brought up in courts not in the legislature. If it would be in the legislature we all would give a golf clap while the idea was trampled to death by a greedy congress who hates to say where there money is really coming from. yeah, I am sure it is doomed, but I am hoping that perhaps the courts would throw us a bone and take it up for some magical and completely random reason which does have a chance to make a legitimate argument.
 

tererun

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It is strange. Arguing that a 501 c4 organization should not legally receive the status it does is an argument between Van Hollen and the IRS. In the run up to the last election, more right-leaning groups applied for tax-exempt status than did left-leaning groups. This could be an attempt to undercut that perceived advantage using legal means rather than simply arranging for the IRS to stall the applications as they did before. If Van Hollen is successful, we're going to have to go back and revisit some of the other groups that have already received such status and make certain it's revoked. That might include some cherished left leaning institutions. Think Priorities USA, and the like.
I would be completely up for that. It is not like paying taxes would kill them or cause them to not be able to do what they do. They would still be corporations. They would still be able to do business. No one is talking about stopping that.
 

humbolt

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I would be completely up for that. It is not like paying taxes would kill them or cause them to not be able to do what they do. They would still be corporations. They would still be able to do business. No one is talking about stopping that.
I don't disagree. Talk about left handed compliments - I suppose that's one of them. I understand the argument that it's reasonable for such an entity to offer some support to political enterprises which advocate their point of view, but I do agree as well that tax advantages that are associated with what could be characterized as their core function should be limited exclusively to that function, and that alone. IOW, if it's reasonable to allow the practice, then it's reasonable to tax that portion of the effort.
 

Deuce

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Why then can individuals give in the name of Mickey Mouse, Ivan the Terrible, Tarzan, or any name they choose? How are those tracked? Is it the amount of money that is at issue here? I'm not being snarky, I really don't know the answer. :peace:
Certain types of political donations of certain amounts have to be reported. If your donation was in that category, giving a false name would be illegal.
 

polgara

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Certain types of political donations of certain amounts have to be reported. If your donation was in that category, giving a false name would be illegal.
Greetings, Deuce. :2wave:

:thanks:
 
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