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Subject:  Re: Lamest scheme ever Date:  5/16/2013  11:33 PM
Author:  FolacinTheAcidic Number:  1877932 of 2206898

That's not the point. The mere fact that they were treated differently is a problem. I'm not a tax lawyer, but I'm assuming that until the applications were approved, these organizations could not behave as
501(c)(4) organizations and had to operate under a different set of rules until then.

It's possible that the delay in processing cost the organizaions money.

Interestingly, it appears that you can just declare yourself a 501(c)(4), file the proper return, and you are good to go:
It turns out that the applications the conservative groups submitted to the IRS—the ones the agency subsequently combed over, provoking nonstop howling—were unnecessary. The IRS doesn’t require so-called 501c4 organizations to apply for tax-exempt status. If anyone wants to start a social welfare group, they can just do it, then submit the corresponding tax return (form 990) at the end of the year. To be sure, the IRS certainly allows groups to apply for tax-exempt status if they want to make their status official. But the application is completely voluntary, making it a strange basis for an alleged witch hunt.
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