Archive for September, 2010

EO Tax Journal 2010-139

Paul Streckfus, September 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Two events occurred yesterday at about the same time. One was the release of a letter (reprinted below) by the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Max Baucus. The other was a panel discussion titled “Political Activities of Exempt Organizations This Election Cycle” sponsored by the D.C. Bar, from which I hope to have a transcript in the near future. Continue…

EO Tax Journal 2010-138

Paul Streckfus, September 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Sarah Hall Ingram, TE/GE Commissioner, was the featured guest at yesterday’s panel discussion on nonprofit hospitals sponsored by VHA Inc.  The focus of the discussion was new section 501(r) and its requirements. Continue…

EO Tax Journal 2010-137

Paul Streckfus, September 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Pulpit Freedom Sunday

In case you missed it, last Sunday (September 26) was the third annual Pulpit Freedom Sunday. You may have missed it because mostly it was ignored by the news media. I am reprinting below an item from ABC News and yesterday’s Alliance Defense Fund’s news release. Continue…

EO Tax Journal 2010-136

Paul Streckfus, September 24, 2010 at 10:18 am

1 – Fresh Off the Wire

The New York Times continues its review of 501(c) organizations involved in politicking and the IRS that seemingly does nothing. Today’s article, “Hidden Under Tax-Exempt Cloak, Political Dollars Flow,” focuses on Americans for Job Security, “a pro-business group based in the Washington suburbs that had spent tens of millions of dollars since the late 1990s roughing up Democrats with negative advertisements around election time” that is “a front for a coterie of political operatives, devised to sidestep campaign disclosure rules.” Americans for Job Security is another nonprofit advocacy group that critics say “allow moneyed interests to influence elections without revealing themselves” by devoting itself “to politically charged ‘issue advocacy,’ much of it negative.”

Emboldened by Citizens United, Americans for Job Security, according to the Times, “paid close to $4 million for ads directly attacking nine Democratic candidates for Congress. That made it among the first to abandon the old approach of running ads that stopped just short of explicitly urging voters to elect or reject individual candidates.”

The article asks “whether, under cover of its tax-exempt mission ‘to promote a strong, job-creating economy,’ the group is largely a funnel for anonymous donations.” A director at Public Citizen is quoted as saying: “A lot of nonprofits game the system, but A.J.S. is unusual in that they so blatantly try to influence elections and evade disclosure. By any common-sense, reasonable interpretation of what they do, they are in violation of the rules.”

According to the article, “In 2007, Public Citizen filed complaints with the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission, contending that Americans for Job Security spent the vast majority of its resources electioneering — running ads close to elections — contrary to I.R.S. guidelines for tax-exempt, nonprofit business groups. Public Citizen said it never heard back from the I.R.S.”

2 – Yesterday’s Update Continued

Today I am following up on the Associated Press story, “Tax-Exempt Status of 3 Bowls Challenged,” noted yesterday. What follows are a new release and excerpts from the complaint filed by Caplin & Drysdale on behalf of Playoff PAC. Continue…

EO Tax Journal 2010-135

Paul Streckfus, September 23, 2010 at 1:44 am

1 – More on 501(c)(4) Politicking

2 – Alliance Defense Fund and Americans United Square Off Over Pulpit Freedom Sunday

3 – Devilish Plot to Destroy American Way of Life Continue…