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Thread: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

  1. #321
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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by upsideguy View Post
    They had stepped up enforcement.... and the result was this crisis where people have led themselves to believe the IRS was harassing them for political purposes at the direction of the White House....
    But this isn't a misconception or an illusion; the IRS appears to have been targeting certain groups for political purposes.

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post
    But this isn't a misconception or an illusion; the IRS appears to have been targeting certain groups for political purposes.
    Yes, it can have the appearance to those that don't understand why that can happen and be innocent. (the paranoid, which is most people when talking about the IRS; and those that want political controversy...and want to build their arguments of convenience to manipulate the paranoid).

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by upsideguy View Post
    or c. certain groups are trying to make an issue out of the most benign things and organizing facts to meet their arguments (see also, Salem Witch Trials)



    Again, the issue is about determination letters. Now, drawing on my background as a CPA (earlier in my career), you can self declare and never have to ask the IRS anything, but you are responsible for carrying on your affairs in a matter consistent with the qualification. Alternatively, as with any questionable tax position, tax payers seek a IRS Determination Letter. They present the facts to the IRS and ask for their judgment. They want the Determination Letter to take to their donors; they need the Determination Letter because their application is not a slam dunk; they wait for their Determination Letter because getting one from the IRS is a difficult, labor intensive process.

    The problem with groups with a substantial political focus is they are questionable for 501(c)(4) status. In fact, by the letter of the law, they do not qualify because they have to be exclusively social welfare, with no political component. Fortunately, for these groups, when the regs were written, they relaxed "exclusively" substituting the "primarily" standard, which opened the door for political activity.

    If these groups stuck to the social welfare aspect of their jobs and stayed out of the political side, the IRS determination would not be necessary and their would be no controversy. The fact that these are controversial groups (from a 501(c)(4) qualification status) made this controversial.

    The political groups liked the 501(c)(4) status because they do not have to disclose donors. The perceived uneven application to conservative groups is largely de facto: 1) The vast majority of political groups formed in the 2009-2011 time frame were Tea Party groups.... and their focus was hardly a-political. It was clear they were 'tweeners"; if they qualified, they would barely qualify...2) many liberal groups are actually social welfare groups first with a political component second... they are advocating for a cause, not a party. Groups like Green Peace or the Sierra Club (which were already formed... so this does apply to them), are more typical of progressive groups... they clearly advocate a social position ahead of a political position (which firmly qualifies them as a 501(c)(4)). It is easier to qualify a social group, then a political one.

    Religious groups would generally apply as a 501(c)(3) organization so that donor contributions were tax deductible. They could only have this status if they had NO political component. If they engaged at all in politics, or advocated political positions from the pulpit, they could get "kicked-down" to 501(c)(4) status. Religious groups have a bad habit of wanting to engage in politics and wanting to tell their constituencies how they should vote in the name of God... (their on sinners using the Lord's name to their political vein on both sides of the aisle... but the evangelicals, at least during the Bush years, often crossed the line)



    Obviously, I would change out one word in that statement to make it true.

    BTW... when you are the attorney for the highest ranking official in the controversy (Lois Lerner) and have political leaders saying irresponsible things like '..someone needs to jail, it would be mal-practice for her attorney to let her testify. This whole issue is already out of control (see also, Salem witch trials) .... she can always testify letter, but can never take her words back.
    Very well stated, although you can't get downgraded from 501(c)(3) to 501(c)(4). If you're denied 501(c)(3) based on excess political interaction then you're barred from seeking 501(c)(4). But your post is spot on.

    And both sides do it, but not to the same extent. Conservatives accounted for 90% of non-disclosed donor spending in 2010, and 85% in 2012. In contrast Liberals accounted for 8% and 11% respectively.
    2012 Outside Spending, by Group | OpenSecrets

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Salem Witch Trials
    yup

    DOJ opens criminal probe into IRS - The Hill

    Lynch: There Will be Special Prosecutor and 'Hell to Pay' If IRS Keeps Stonewalling | CNS News

    they wait for their Determination Letter
    you can say that again

    It Didn't End In 2012

    The American Center for Law and Justice, headed by chief counsel Jay Sekulow, plans to file suit in federal court in the coming weeks on behalf of more than two dozen conservative groups that claim their harassment at the hands of the nation’s tax authority continued long past the White House’s purported end date — and, for a number of them, continues still. Of the 27 organizations the ACLJ has represented to date, ten still have not received approval, two years after applying. Two others gave up.

    Says Sekulow, “Without question, the IRS misconduct of harassing and abusing our clients was still in high gear from May 2012 through May of this year. . . . To suggest this tactic ended a year ago is not only offensive, but it is simply inaccurate as well.”

    But the ACLJ is not the only entity still fighting unfair treatment. True the Vote, a nonprofit founded to train poll workers to detect and report voter fraud, filed suit against the IRS in federal court on Tuesday. Nearly three years after filing for tax-exempt status, True the Vote is still waiting for IRS approval. During that period, the group’s founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, a member of the Houston tea-party group King Street Patriots, saw her family’s manufacturing firm audited by the IRS and visited by OSHA, the ATF, and the FBI.

    Cleta Mitchell, the attorney representing True the Vote, says, “The IRS would have everyone believe that ‘all that was stopped in 2012.’ That is not true. Many, many organizations’ applications are still locked within the IRS.

    And Mitchell, like Sekulow, has evidence that many of the “dozens, if not hundreds” of conservative groups still waiting for approval received additional reams of invasive questions in the fall of 2012 and later. Both Mitchell and the ACLJ have made some of those letters available — letters that requested not just tax-related information but board-meeting minutes, lists of issues important to the organization, social-media posts, employees’ résumés, even the details of content taught in groups’ workshops and seminars.
    another white house lie, why so many?

    The problem with groups with a substantial political focus is they are questionable for 501(c)(4) status
    some more than others

    Organizing for Action raises $4.8 million in first quarter - Los Angeles Times

    After launching in mid-January, the group was buffeted by sharp criticism for forming as a social welfare organization under section 501(c)4 of the tax code, which allows it to conceal its donors and accept unlimited sums. A plan to solicit $500,000 from wealthy donors and fund-raisers to be part of an advisory council that would meet quarterly with Obama fueled the controversy.
    why did nancy marks' internal audit, presented to steven miller on may 3, 2012, report "significant problems" and "substantial bias?"

    many liberal groups are actually social welfare groups first with a political component second
    AP: Obama to speak to Organizing for Action summit

    $50,000 per plate---that must be some mighty delicious social welfare
    Last edited by The Prof; 05-27-13 at 12:45 PM.

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    to manipulate the paranoid
    LOL!

    is eric holder paranoid?

    or manipulated?

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by nota bene View Post
    But this isn't a misconception or an illusion; the IRS appears to have been targeting certain groups for political purposes.
    The IRS was investigating groups for engaging in excess political activity, so it would be kind of bad if they didn't investigate groups for political purposes. The problem is that one set of criteria used singles out certain conservative groups. This is politicly insensitive, but the words "Tea", "Party", "Patriots", and "912" are the most likely words to indicate excess political activity.

    The search criteria should be balanced. However, it's not a balanced problem. 85-90% of non-disclosed political was by conservative groups. If the groups being investigating are not 85-90% conservative, then the investigation is biased.

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    the words "Tea", "Party", "Patriots", and "912" are the most likely words to indicate excess political activity
    that's only half of it

    USAToday: IRS gave liberals a pass; Tea Party groups put on hold

    In the 27 months that the Internal Revenue Service put a hold on all Tea Party applications for non-profit status, it approved applications from similar liberal groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows.

    As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with obviously liberal names were approved in as little as nine months. With names including words like "Progress" or "Progressive," these groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups.
    why would anyone want to STOP the investigation?

    what are they trying to hide?

  8. #328
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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    Oh, there's no question that the IRS needs to step up enforcement, particularly among 501c groups. The problem is that many in congress were elected because of outside spending by these groups. These politicians have no incentive to enforce the law. Notice how the politicians pivoted from the real issue (the criteria used to determine who should be investigated) to outrage that groups were investigated.
    The outrage was indeed partly because of biased criteria, but also because of lying to Congress, as late as two days before the planted question episode.
    "It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    that's only half of it

    USAToday: IRS gave liberals a pass; Tea Party groups put on hold



    why would anyone want to STOP the investigation?

    what are they trying to hide?
    What about PatriotMajority? They used to be an above board political group that disclosed their donors. But after 2010 they stopped acting as a PAC and began funnelling their money through a 501c4 donor shield. They spent $7,013,886 in 2012. That's enough for me....

    Oh, they're also the second highest spending Liberal 501(c)(4) group.

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    Re: IRS official Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hays View Post
    The outrage was indeed partly because of biased criteria, but also because of lying to Congress, as late as two days before the planted question episode.
    That's an entirely different issue. The Senate finance committee was investigating how 501(c)(4) groups abuse the tax code to launder money into politics. Lois Lerner went in front of Levin and McCain, and somehow failed to mention any of this.

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