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Thread: Email: IRSís Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict nonpr

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    Re: Email: IRSís Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict n

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny5 View Post
    Privacy?
    ie avoiding having to disclose donors. And by definition, that makes the groups ineligible for 501c4 status. The law doesn't say "devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes" or to hide your donors.

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    Re: Email: IRSís Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict n

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Why didn't the IRS inform them that they needed to apply as 527's?
    Why did a government organization operate like a bureaucracy?... hmmm..... tough one.

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    Re: Email: IRSís Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict n

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    Because the law was not being enforced as written. And it wasn't being enforced because no one was using it to break campaign finance laws. This is the law:
    US Code 501(c)(4)(A)
    Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, or local associations of employees, the membership of which is limited to the employees of a designated person or persons in a particular municipality, and the net earnings of which are devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes.

    Now I've answered your questions. So I'll ask again, why would any of these groups file as a 501c4 when they could have filed as a tax exempt 527?

    Are you really in favor of dark money in politics?
    So you're claim they are illegal is nothing but your opinion.

    Got it.

    Do I favor dark money in politics? I'd prefer full disclosure, but I have no problem with the Citizens United decision.

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    Re: Email: IRSís Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict n

    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    So you're claim they are illegal is nothing but your opinion.

    Got it.

    Do I favor dark money in politics? I'd prefer full disclosure, but I have no problem with the Citizens United decision.
    Once again, why did these groups file as 501c4s which by law must be operated EXCLUSIVELY for the promotion of social welfare? Why did they not file as tax exempt 527s?

    Btw.. that's not my opinion, it's a direct quote from the law.

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    Re: Email: IRSís Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict n

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    Once again, why did these groups file as 501c4s which by law must be operated EXCLUSIVELY for the promotion of social welfare? Why did they not file as tax exempt 527s?

    Btw.. that's not my opinion, it's a direct quote from the law.
    If they are operating illegally, why haven't they been cited? You seem to be making an observation not backed up by facts. I know the law, and continuing to post it doesn't mean anything.

    Bottom line, if they registered as 501c4 groups, that is what they are. If they violate those IRS conditions, they are subject to fines, etc. Since it seems they haven't been fined, etc., I guess your opinion that they are illegal is just that, an opinion, and nothing more.

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    Re: Email: IRSís Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict n

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    Here's what the law says
    US Code 501(c)(4)(A)
    Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, or local associations of employees, the membership of which is limited to the employees of a designated person or persons in a particular municipality, and the net earnings of which are devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes. (highlight mine)

    And here's what the IRS has been enforcing
    IRS Publication 557 501(c)(4)
    To qualify for exemption under section 501(c)(4), the organization's net earnings must be devoted primarily to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes. In addition, no part of the organization's net earnings can inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization provides an excess benefit to certain persons, an excise tax may be imposed. See Excise tax on excess benefit transactions , under Excess Benefit Transactions in chapter 5 for more information about this tax.

    So you're right that these organizations have been allowed to have some amount of political impact in the past, largely because the IRS has not been enforcing the law as written since the 50's. But that's because no one had a reason to break the law. Sure these organizations have been allowed to lobby pre Citizens United. But lobbying is not electioneering and doesn't require disclosure of donors.

    Anything you can do with a 501c4, a 527 can do better.... except now people are trying to use 501c4's to hide their donors. I don't see how anyone can be in favor of more dark money in politics.
    Yeah. I had my subdivisions mixed up. From what I understand, the IRS allowed political activity in (4)s in the fifties with a wording change.

    I did understand the distinction and issues.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

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    Re: Email: IRSís Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict n

    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    If they are operating illegally, why haven't they been cited? You seem to be making an observation not backed up by facts. I know the law, and continuing to post it doesn't mean anything.

    Bottom line, if they registered as 501c4 groups, that is what they are. If they violate those IRS conditions, they are subject to fines, etc. Since it seems they haven't been fined, etc., I guess your opinion that they are illegal is just that, an opinion, and nothing more.
    Yeah.. if they weren't doing anything wrong, why didn't the IRS investigate them?... Oh wait...

    You say that you're against dark money, but you support the use of 501c4's to engage in political activity for the sole purpose of hiding their donors. It sounds rather disingenuous.

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    Re: Email: IRSís Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict n

    Quote Originally Posted by justabubba View Post
    the republicans on the committee or the committee
    and what are the facts they have used to support their conclusion
    Why would the guy feel compelled to apologize if there was nothing to apologize about?

    Why would Lerner first state that she did no wrong, and then take the 5th when testifying before congress?

    I'm tellin' ya', there's something not right there.

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    Re: Email: IRSís Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict n

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    Yeah.. if they weren't doing anything wrong, why didn't the IRS investigate them?... Oh wait...

    You say that you're against dark money, but you support the use of 501c4's to engage in political activity for the sole purpose of hiding their donors. It sounds rather disingenuous.
    Have they been cited? Have they been shut down?

    I think you're struggling with the distiction between "illegal", and in violation.

    As to dark money, I think it's outrageous outfits like the Ford Foundation, or Annenberg get to do the agenda driven things they do under cover of their Charitable Trust designation. I think the National Teachers union is an outrage, as well as all the labor unions.

    So, dark money? Hmmm. As I wrote, I'd prefer disclosure, but since that seems to be the third rail to most groups, I say step up and spend the money. For example, stealing peoples money through union dues and buying politicians with it is far more dangerous that a bunch of 501c4's trying to escape some tax liability.

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    Re: Email: IRSís Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict n

    Quote Originally Posted by ocean515 View Post
    Have they been cited? Have they been shut down?

    I think you're struggling with the distiction between "illegal", and in violation.

    As to dark money, I think it's outrageous outfits like the Ford Foundation, or Annenberg get to do the agenda driven things they do under cover of their Charitable Trust designation. I think the National Teachers union is an outrage, as well as all the labor unions.

    So, dark money? Hmmm. As I wrote, I'd prefer disclosure, but since that seems to be the third rail to most groups, I say step up and spend the money. For example, stealing peoples money through union dues and buying politicians with it is far more dangerous that a bunch of 501c4's trying to escape some tax liability.
    The thing is that no one is escaping any tax liability with 501c4s or 527s. 501c4s and 527s are tax exempt, but donations to them are not tax deductible. That means that no one is getting a tax deduction by contributing to political groups and political groups don't pay taxes because political groups don't financially benefit anyone.

    The only difference is that 527's have to disclose their donors, while 501c4's don't. And by statute, 501c4s are not allowed to engage in politics.

    These groups, both conservative and liberal, were trying to skirt the law. What they did was in violation of the law, or illegal... or however you want to describe it. The IRS regulations need to be rewritten, and all of these groups need to file as 527's so they can be regulated by the FEC.

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