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Subject:  Re: Lamest scheme ever Date:  5/18/2013  3:04 PM
Author:  albaby1 Number:  1878311 of 2210787

Without looking at the details of their applications, I think many, if not all, of these groups do not meet the IRS's definition of a social welfare group.

On what basis? You don't know anything about these groups at all, beyond the name "tea party."

That's not the only reason I believe they suffered no harm and not how I came to that conclusion. (I didn't say anything about applying as 527s.) I said they can't claim they suffered harm because their tax-exempt status was in limbo, because their tax-exempt status was never in limbo. They're tax-exempt as political organizations regardless of 501c4 status.

Why do you conclude they are tax-exempt as political organizations? The form you cited upthread is the end-of-year form for 527 groups (which are the tax-exempt political groups that these groups would otherwise qualifying) - but there are specific requirements that have to be met for 527 status. You have to register them upfront, and you have to do periodic reports throughout the year. A political organization cannot fail to do those things without consequences. So they can't just take a flier and wait until the end of the year to figure out how they are to proceed.

All political groups applying for 501c4 status as social welfare organizations deserve extra scrutiny because 501c4 groups aren't supposed to engage in politics, with limited exceptions. Some will qualify under the exceptions. I don't believe most tea party groups do because their primary purpose is the support and opposition of political candidates. They're mission isn't charity or education They both directly and indirectly intervene in political campaigns, which is explicitly forbidden. Obviously, the IRS caved and granted them status anyway.

Once again, you seem to be misconstruing the rules for social welfare groups. Intervention in political campaigns is not explicitly forbidden - it is explicitly permitted. It merely cannot be their primary activity. And their primary activity can be political, as long as it isn't intervention in political campaigns.

Yes. That's what was wrong about what they did. Their screens were specific to orgs with words like "tea party" and "patriot"in their names. That appears to be because there was a flood of "tea party" applications at the time (and relatively few "occupy" applications.)

There was no flood of applications at the time:

And the issue that we've been discussing isn't 'how high' it went, or whether the groups were damaged because of political intent or simple maladministration - but merely whether they were damaged by the wrongful activity of the IRS. There will be more review of the matter, but it certainly seems as though there's a decent case for that.

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