The IRS may broaden a looming controversial rule to police political nonprofits to include political parties and political action committees, the IRS chief said Wednesday.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the agency may expand a yet-to-be-released rule governing 501(c)(4), “social welfare” groups, to include political groups known as 527s, which focus on elections. It could require them both — as well as other types of tax-exempt groups — to operate under the same definition of “political activity.”
The law is currently vague, requiring that 501(c)(4)s operate “primarily” for social welfare. It’s one of the reasons the IRS found itself in hot water for pulling tea party groups for extra scrutiny between 2010 and 2012 — a scandal that has scarred the IRS’ image in the public eye.
Such groups are allowed to engage in advocacy and even lobby on policy topics — it’s only when they actually get involved in campaigns that they have to limit their work. Political parties; campaign committees for candidates for federal, state or local office; and political action committees are all political organizations subject to section 527 of the Tax Code. The news that the new rule could include political groups may come as a surprise to the nonprofit sector following the issue. Although the IRS had floated expending the rule to include other tax-exempt groups like 501(c)(3)s (charities), 501(c)(5)s (unions) and 501(c)(6)s (trade groups), political groups haven’t come up nearly as often. Let’s see now the IRS wants to go after 501 (c)(4) groups but leave the unions and trade groups alone? Why do you suppose those groups are OFF LIMITS? Could it be because they INVEST heavily in democrat politics? The IRS has been issued orders from headquarters (Obama) to keep up the pressure on FREEDOM loving groups who want to factor in the voting process.This of course is seen as an ENEMY of the state since any vote for anyone other than a democrat is nor permitted. Since the IRS got its hand slapped for targeting TEA party type groups in 2010 and 12 they are looking at ways to codify their efforts making it legal to target tea party groups by pretending to play fair across all political action committees. Unions and trade groups will continue to be allowed to pump as much money as they wish into political campaigns. This is never seen as a CONFLICT of interest since many if not most of unionized members are part of the federal, state or local governments and as such see any attempts to limit the size of government as an attack on their livelihood. Therefore they should not be allowed to contribute large sums of money to campaigns and policy groups since they are also the recipients of policies being introduced by their supported candidates. This should be considered Quid pro quo.