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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/good-luck-proving-in-court-that-joe-blow-didnt-30690079.aspx

Subject:  Re: Lamest scheme ever Date:  5/17/2013  10:08 PM
Author:  albaby1 Number:  1878171 of 1976763

Good luck proving in court that Joe Blow didn't don't money to the Tea Party Committee of East Smithville because its (c)(4) status was still under review even though it makes no difference at all with regard to the deductibility of the donation.

I doubt they would try to prove that. Rather, they'll say that they limited their fundraising activities and direct expenditures pending IRS review because they didn't know whether they could travel under 501(c)(4) rules or were under the 527 rules.

These groups are primarily political organizations not social welfare groups. (I can't beleive anyone can dispute this.)

This is where I don't really understand where you're coming from - you seem to be assuming that political groups and social welfare groups are mutually inconsistent. They are not, under the regulations. A group that is primarily formed to accomplish political goals - to promote gun control, to secure passage of health care reform, etc. - is a social welfare group. The term 'social welfare' draws a distinction between groups that lobby to secure a benefit for themselves versus those who lobby to secure what they believe is a benefit to society. Social welfare groups are allowed to be political actors, and are allowed to have their primary activity be political action - so long as their primary political activity is not directly participating in an actual election.

This interpretation of the rules well predates the current IRS scandals. For example, here's an IRS publication from the mid-1990's describing how groups advocating particular political ideologies or policy positions (such as the anti-abortion group referenced therein) qualify under 501(c)(4), and can also engage in direct political activity as long as it is not the primary activity:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopicm95.pdf

I just don't see any support for your claim that these groups do not meet the criteria for approval under 501(c)(4), other than your (mistaken) claim that political groups can't be social welfare groups. The latter are restricted somewhat in the specific type of political action they can engage in, but are free to be completely directed towards political action as long as the majority is not directly related to specific elections.

Albaby
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