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Subject:  Re: Lamest scheme ever Date:  5/17/2013  10:43 PM
Author:  xLife Number:  1878184 of 2207805 seem to be assuming that political groups and social welfare groups are mutually inconsistent.

No. THey're not mutually exclusive. They're overlapping sets. How a political group qualifies as a social welfare organization is outlined in the IRS docs I've provided.

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.

Not exactly, but pretend that it is. Many, maybe most, tea party groups directly participate in elections. Whether all do or not isn't important. Enough do to warrant additional IRS attention.'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:

Thanks. My argument is that political activity is the Tea Party's primary activity. And I don't see how anyone can reasonably argue otherwise.

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.

That's not my claim. My claim is that political groups applying for 501(c)(4) status deserve additional scrutiny, not that they automatically are ineligible.
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