24 February 2006

IRS: Charities Overstepping Into Politics

Yahoo News - Feb 24, 2006

IRS exams found nearly three out of four churches, charities and other civic groups suspected of having violated restraints on political activity in the 2004 election actually did so, the agency said Friday.

Most of the examinations that have concluded found only a single, isolated incidence of prohibited campaign activity.

In three cases, however, the IRS uncovered violations egregious enough to recommend revoking the groups' tax-exempt status.

The vast majority of charities and churches followed the law, but the examinations found a "disturbing" amount of political intervention in the 2004 elections, IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said.

"It's disturbing not because it's pervasive, but because it has the potential to really grow and have a very bad impact on the integrity of charities and churches," Everson said in an interview.

The tax agency looked only at charities, churches and other tax-exempt organizations referred to the IRS for potentially violating laws that bar them from participating in or intervening in elections, including advocating for or against any candidate.

Those referred to the IRS represent a tiny fraction of more than 1 million tax-exempt organizations organized under section 501(c)(3) of the tax law.

The IRS examined 110 organizations referred to the tax agency for potentially violations, and 28 cases remain open.

Among the 82 closed cases, the IRS found prohibited politicking and sent a written warning to 55 organizations and assessed a penalty tax against one group. Those organizations included 37 churches and 19 other organizations.

[...] Among the prohibited activities, the examiners found that charities and churches had distributed printed material supporting a preferred candidate and assembled improper voter guides or candidate ratings.

Religious leaders had used the pulpit to endorse or oppose a particular candidate, and some groups had shown preferential treatment to candidates by letting them speak at functions.

Other charities and churches had made improper cash contributions to a candidate's political campaign.

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2 comments:

Josue Sierra said...

What are your thoughts? Good catch on noticing the story, but if you are going to post about it, ad your thoughts--even a reaction. Otherwise, you are not providing me with anything else other than what is already out there.

Nice blog. Keep at it.Share your thoughts.

dixychik said...

Hi. I have been posting articles on election fraud since March 2003. At first I was making comments (or smart remarks ...ha) but I seemed to be in an echo chamber. Very few hits on this blog no matter how hard I tried to get attention. So, I just decided to post every article I thought was important and hope that someone would find it useful.

I had been discussing the importance of this subject on a very busy forum after the 2000 election until I started this blog. I was tired of ranting and raving inside the forum and thought it was important to get this information out to more people so that we could try to do something about it. Others took up the cause after that on their own, but this site still remained invisible for some reason.

So, since I was mostly talking to MYSELF, I didn't see much point in commenting, and a few times almost gave up on it completely. But, I just keep plugging away, posting a few articles at a time, and leave it at that.

People have waited far too long to get busy on this issue and little will be resolved before the 2006 elections, unfortunately. But, I won't give up because I think this is the most important issue of all. It directly affects every other issue. If we cannot choose our representatives, we have no control over our country or our lives.

However, I have PLENTY to say on my other blog www.sweetliberty.blog-city.com but oddly, few people comment there either!

Thanks for letting me know that SOMEBODY noticed I was alive! : )