X

IRS' Dumb Move May Keep Problem From Getting Fixed

Ezra Klein: Agency must clamp down on all political groups exploiting nonprofit status
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2013 1:18 PM CDT
IRS' Dumb Move May Keep Problem From Getting Fixed
In this file photo, a Tea Party supporter attends a tax day rally in Independence, Mo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(Newser) – The IRS made an incredibly stupid mistake in singling out Tea Party groups for scrutiny last year, but the real travesty is that the agency didn't investigate more groups—Democrat and Republican alike—in similar circumstances, writes Ezra Klein at the Washington Post. The problem here is that political organizations have made a mockery of the 501(c)4 loophole that allows them to file as social welfare nonprofits, a move that allows them to hide their donors. Karl Rove led the way, and the IRS caved. "A lot of people thought Rove would get smacked back by the IRS,” an expert at UC Irvine tells Klein. “It didn’t happen. And then 501(c)4s exploded.”

story continues below

That's true for both Republican and Democratic groups, and it's the IRS' fault for allowing this "to grow into something monstrous," writes Klein. It never established clear rules—501(c)4s aren't supposed to be "primarily political," but what does that mean exactly? The agency was trying to figure it out when some misguided agents started looking at groups they thought were over-the-top political, like those with "Tea Party" in their names. The fallout has been brutal—witness Sarah Palin's post on Facebook—and Klein fears it's only going to make the IRS "even more terrified" of fixing the problem. Click for the full post. (Read more IRS stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X