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Comments about ‘There is good reason to question validity of IRS investigation’

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Published: Sunday, March 23 2014 4:27 p.m. MDT

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

This should be investigated once and for all with the goal of finding the truth.

Unfortunately, people dont want the truth unless it confirms a partisan slant.

The parties should agree on who and how an investigation will be carried out, with an up front agreement that the findings will put an end to the partisan bickering, regardless of the finding.

This applies to Benghazi also, which appears to have been thoroughly investigated by independents already.

Investigate fairly and impartially and then drop it and move on.

factsplease
SLO, CA

"My organization was hit with an exhaustive IRS audit in 2012 that lasted 15 months and the agent assigned to conduct it indicated it was political."

If your organization is a 501(c)4 it is making certain claims in order to qualify for tax-exempt status. In order to qualify for tax-exempt status it:

"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. However, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its PRIMARY activity. However, any expenditure it makes for political activities may be subject to tax under section 527(f)."

The IRS is tasked with enforcing tax laws. Therefore, it has the duty and obligation to make sure that 501(c)4s are adhering to the law ie not engaging in political activities. Therefore, an audit may very well be done on a political basis.

The IRS has many employees of differing political persuasions who've diligently worked under more than one U.S. president The 501(c)4 area of the law has become extremely challenging post Citizens United.

pc93
CASSELBERRY, FL

Paul Andrew Mitchell / IRS Targeted Political Prisoner USA
search Re: Case No. 2:14-CR-00027-NDF-2 / Notice of Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice: 18 U.S.C. 1514(b), 3771

freedomingood
provo, Utah

A political tax exempt charity is an oxymoron.

Of legitimate charities with tax exempt status, it should be impossible to tell if they have any political reference. Unless you tie charity with only one political view which is not the case.

The investigations are political in the sense that POLITICAL organizations are illegally trying to obtain tax exempt status and then you are outraged when they can't have it. Remember, nobody is being jailed here, only denied tax exempt status.

If you are upset that your politcal "charity" was audited - you don't understand the law.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

Freedomingood. Do you include the NAACP or the UAW any teacher's union or the NFFE or Planned Parenthood in your POLITICAL organizations trying to pass themselves off as charities? Or is that only for conservative organizations? We understand the law its the enforcement of the law by the IRS that is in question!

Star Bright
Salt Lake City, Ut

Just to follow up: What would you all be saying if Pres George Bush's IRS was targeting NAACP, Planned Parenthood, etc., etc. Would you be saying the same thing?
You all have to be better than this. You know this is not right, not fair.

Owen
Heber City, UT

Mr. Conservative T. Party's publicly stated motto: "I hate taxes and will go to any length to avoid paying them, including forming a 'charity' to fight taxation."

Ms. IRS tax collector: "My job is to look for tax evaders masquerading as 'charities.' So I'll make the best use of the taxpayers' money. I'll start looking at the obvious suspects - those who include their anti-tax agenda in their names.

Mr. Conservative: "Outrageous!"

factsplease
SLO, CA

Those of us who have interfaced with the IRS for many years know that presidents don't micromanage or get involved with the IRS. We also know audits are stressful, but at some level we know they are necessary to enforce the law, to pay for programs we benefit from. We know IRS employees are being asked to do more and more with fewer resources. Under these circumstances, the low hanging fruit often gets picked first. For example, if you name your "charitable/social welfare" group after a recognized political movement like Occupy Wall street or the Tea Party you are going to attract more attention than the "Save the forest" group. BTW. there were liberal groups who were scutinized and even denied 501(c)4 status.

It is too bad that the DN editorial board and DN readers haven't read the Inspector General's report before commenting.

The real scandal and threat to democracy is the hidden/anonymous money flooding our campaigns, elections and legislative processes.

freedomingood
provo, Utah

If the IRS want to audit the NAACP's tax exempt status or any other status it's fine with me.

If you can prove the Obama administration is targeting you then prove it in court. Right wing conspiracies are endless.

9/11 building 7. look into that.

LOU Montana
Pueblo, CO

Exemption Requirements - 501(c)(3) Organizations
To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

This TAX Exemption is being abused by Tea Party people and Right Wing Radicals to keep from paying taxes! What is the big debate here?

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Really Star Bright?

George Bush's IRS did a two year investigation of the NAACP for criticizing Bush, and then cleared them.

Planned Parenthood, as a political organization is ridiculous.

The key here is an organization can't be political as a substantial part of their activities.
Thus UAW and others have various tax exempt positions.

If all it took to lose your tax exempt status was some political activity the Mormon church and the catholic church would have lost the status long ago.

LetsDebate
PLEASANT GROVE, UT

Mr. Liberal Union Member's publicly stated motto: "I love taxes and will go to any length to make others pay them, including forming a 'charity' to assure higher taxation of everyone but myself."

Ms. IRS tax collector: "My job is to keep the monopoly of tax-exempt political activity within liberal circles. So I'll make sure taxpayers' money is only used to fund liberal political groups. I'll overlook unions, the NAACP, 'community organizers' (wink, wink), Planned Parenthood, etc. for years and years, and only worry about potentially political groups when conservatives catch on to the scam."

Mr. Liberal: "Right On!"

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I suspect the reason the people involved keep saying they did nothing wrong, but then refuse to make a single statement when subpoenaed by Congress is... they know what these investigations are all about. They know because they did it to the Bush administration.

They were part of the group that's been doing this for years, so they know what's going on. Remember Democrats pledged the day after Bush took office that their plan was to insure President Bush would get nothing he wanted his whole term because they controlled Congress and they were going to tie up Congress and the administration in continuous Congressional investigations? This tactic just ended up costing Democrats their majority in Congress the next election.

Republicans didn't learn anything and did the same thing when Obama took office.

I guess this is just "politics as usual".

I know Obama promised to change "politics as usual in Washington". But I don't think he understood one man can't do that.

Now we are back to politics as usual in Washington. And politics as usual with Russia.

Maybe the real answer isn't just to replace Republicans with Democrats...

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

" On the advise of my legal counsel, I decline to answer your questions pursuant to my 5th amendment rights not to incriminate myself", Lois Lerner before congressional committee investigating the IRS' abuses! Why there is not a "smidgeon of corruption" in the IRS is there?

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@Star Bright
We just want the law enforced and seeing as the IRS only rejected one group (a liberal group) it's clearly not being enforced.

"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. However, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its PRIMARY activity."

Almost none of these groups, left or right, should be getting tax exempt status.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Thid Barker,
I agree... if you think you can't say a single word without incriminating yourself... there's probably something out there that COULD incriminate you.

This insisting that there's noting incriminating out there... but I can't say a word or I'll incriminate myself... is actually saying a lot.

If I were Congress... this would peak my interest and I would expand the investigation and involve an independent investigator (like we did in the Swallow case) not shut it down.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Mr. Conservative T. Party: Is ACORN a political organization?

Ms. IRS tax collector: No. At least it wasn't for 40 year period, but when attention came to what they were doing in 2010 we pulled their tax exempt status. And they went bankrupt, and reopened under a bunch of new names (which are now tax exempt again).

Mr. Conservative T. Party: Is the Tides Foundation a political organization?

Ms. IRS tax collector: No.

Mr. Conservative T. Party: But they only fund one party's initiatives and are openly partisan...

Ms. IRS tax collector: That's OK.

Mr. Conservative T. Party: So is any organization with Tea Party, or Patriot in it's name a "political organization"?

Ms. IRS tax collector: Yes.

Mr. Conservative T. Party: So why are they different?

Ms. IRS tax collector: Any group that talks about lowering taxes or shrinking the size of government is gonna get it... now buzz off...

freedomingood
provo, Utah

So you are admitting that the IRS audited the "liberal" ACORN and took away it's tax exempt status? But if they do it to a "conservative" organization then it's a political hit job?

If your principals only work on one foot....

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

freedomingood,
Truth is... ACORN didn't just have their tax exempt status removed by the IRS. Some of their leaders were found guilt of embezzling millions of $$s, some were convicted of election fraud, some were exposed being engaged in tax evasion, human smuggling and child prostitution. Having their tax exemption removed was the least of their problems. But yes... after 40 years they were found out. (ref Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - Wikipedia)...

The skit was mostly a joke. But with an edge of truth.

ACORN was bad for 40 years (worse than any tea party or patriot organization ever). They got REALLY bad in 2010 (campaigning for Obama). Hidden camera videos and other evidence was presented to Congress, and revealed the criminal activity many ACORN volunteers were involved in. And Congress (not the IRS) acted and passed a law preventing any public funding from going to ACORN (yes.... they were not just getting money from donors... they were getting $$$ from you and me... Mr Joe Taxpayer).

===

I have no problem with the T party or patriot organizations getting hassled by the IRS IF they were not legit. But not if it was just their name.

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