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All- Purpose IRS Thread.

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Old
05-17-2013, 12:33 PM
  #1
Beerz
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All- Purpose IRS Thread.

- I'm surprised this hasn't been started as I think this issue has the biggest teeth compared to the rest... I think it will cause the biggest black eye for Obama Administration.

- Also we can throw in here the discussion of tax exempt status for certain organizations.

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05-17-2013, 01:27 PM
  #2
Sevanston
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This is definitely the scandal with the most teeth.

But after listening to one bunk Obama scandal after another since 2008, it's hard not to remember the boy who cried wolf. A sad side effect of the Republican Political Theater Troupe's act.

I'm still paying attention, but I'm mostly just skeptical and apathetic.

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05-17-2013, 01:32 PM
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Ugmo
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Man, I can't see this scandal taking off. It already appears that Obama had nothing to do with it (the IRS director wasn't even his appointee). Those who already hated the IRS the most will now hate them even more. Everybody else will react with a collective shrug. As scandals go, the Obama administration hasn't really had much to offer.

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05-17-2013, 01:35 PM
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05-17-2013, 01:56 PM
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JCD
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This may have the most teeth, but...



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05-17-2013, 04:17 PM
  #6
thestonedkoala
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And even this scandal is falling apart already. Is it bad? It's bad but not as bad as the Republicans are making it out to be. The funny thing is, as this is getting more public attention, the worse the Republicans and some Tea Party (Conservative) groups are looking because apparently there were a lot of donation misconducts being thrown around.

Quote:
In 2010, the Determinations Unit noticed something peculiar about the I.R.C. 501(c) applications it was receiving. Many of the applications requesting I.R.C. 501(c)(4) status as a “social welfare” organization were clearly, on closer review, not social welfare groups. An example of this is Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, which sought social welfare organization status. Crossroads GPS’s parent organization, American Crossroads, is a I.R.C. 527 organization, which are required to publicly disclose their donors.

This raised a red flag with the IRS. First, no group has to file an application with the IRS to call itself a social welfare organization. Social welfare organizations cannot receive tax-deductible charitable contributions and cannot primarily engage in political campaign interventions.

A social welfare organization can engage in unlimited legislative lobbying and can engage in general advocacy — as long as that advocacy does not favor specific legislation or the election of a candidate.
Here's where the problem came up:

Quote:
The IRS interpreted — correctly — the increased influx of 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization applications as potential tax fraud that would fund mis-labeled organizations, free from transparency.

How the IRS proceeded, however, is where the group blundered. The Determination Unit, at the behest of Congress and the media, set aside the troublesome applications until specialists could make a determination on their tax exempt status.

To facilitate this auditing, the Determination Unit used search terms such as “patriot,” “Tea Party” and “9/12” to flag applications for further review without consideration of the organization’s actual purpose. Some legitimately questionable applications snuck through due to this error, while many innocent organizations’ applications were singled out.

When the director of the Rulings and Agreements office learned of the specific nature of the search criteria, he feared that specific organizations may be actively discriminated against. In June 2011, the director ordered the criteria changed to make them more responsive to the potential “political, lobbying, or [general] advocacy” activities of the organization. However, the specialists reviewing the flagged applications changed the criteria back on their own accord multiple times, according to the TIGTA report.
So, from what I'm reading. It's not that the IRS was purposely singling these organizations out due to their leaning but just a keyword SNAFU.

http://www.mintpressnews.com/inappro...or-irs-fiasco/

The Republicans missed the mark on this one but ended up stumbling into something bigger.

Furthermore, the IRS is getting into a bit more trouble with the separation of church and state:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2069009.html

Do you think the Republicans care about this since those churches are donating to their cause? Nope.

Basically, the Republicans have kicked a bee's nest of issues to get a small sampling of honey.

BTW if you think this was just a GOP thing, liberal groups were also targeted:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/0...-nbsp-outrage#

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Old
05-17-2013, 04:21 PM
  #7
Fish on The Sand
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How's it like being a pro tennis player?

I'm not. I'm with the IRS, I just don't like to tell people that because it's like telling people I killed their family.


Last edited by Fish on The Sand: 05-17-2013 at 05:29 PM.
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05-17-2013, 04:25 PM
  #8
thestonedkoala
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish on The Sand View Post
How's it like being a pro tennis player?

I'm not. I'm with the IRS, I just don't like to tell people that because its like telling people I killed their family.
Uh. What?

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05-17-2013, 04:47 PM
  #9
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Some conservatives are already overreaching with this, now claiming that the IRS targeted politically-active Mitt Romney supporters for audits. Nate Silver takes care of this one for us before it even gets off the ground:

New Audit Allegations Show Flawed Statistical Thinking

Quote:
The Internal Revenue Service is under fire for inappropriately targeting conservative groups that sought tax-exempt status. As I wrote earlier this week, the revelation has the potential to motivate conservative turnout in the 2014 elections, perhaps costing Democrats as they seek to gain seats in the House and retain control of the Senate.

Some conservatives, however, are alleging that there is another component to the scandal. They accuse the I.R.S. of targeting not just conservative groups that sought 501(c)(4) status, but also individual taxpayers who oppose President Obama or have supported conservative causes. “The second part of the scandal is the auditing of political activists who have opposed the administration,” the Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote on Thursday, describing the I.R.S.’s actions as the “worst Washington scandal since Watergate.”

What evidence does Ms. Noonan present for this second allegation? She reports on four cases of conservatives who she says were targeted for audits, and infers that there were undoubtedly many more:

...

The point is, however, that even with no political targeting at all, hundreds of thousands of conservative voters would have been chosen for audits in the I.R.S.’s normal course of business. Among these hundreds of thousands of voters, thousands would undoubtedly have gone beyond merely voting to become political activists.

The fact that Ms. Noonan has identified four conservatives from that group of thousands provides no evidence at all toward her hypothesis. Nor would it tell us very much if dozens or even hundreds of conservative activists disclosed that they had been audited. This is exactly what you would expect in a country where there are 1.5 million audits every year.

...

But the principle is important: a handful of anecdotal data points are not worth very much in a country of more than 300 million people. Ms. Noonan, and many other commentators, made a similar mistake last year in their analysis of the presidential election, when they cited evidence like the number of Mitt Romney yard signs in certain neighborhoods as an indication that he was likely to win, while dismissing polls that collectively surveyed hundreds of thousands of voters in swing states and largely showed Mr. Obama ahead.

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Old
05-17-2013, 05:01 PM
  #10
Ugmo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thestonedkoala View Post
Uh. What?
This is what google is for.

(Be sure to add the apostrophe in the contraction "it's")

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05-17-2013, 05:05 PM
  #11
thestonedkoala
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Bwahahahaha!

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/05/16/odonn...l-irs-scandal/

Quote:
House Speaker John Boehner wants to know “who’s going to jail” over the recent IRS scandal, in which agents targeted Tea Party-related groups with unequal scrutiny. A far as MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell is concerned, “That may be the single stupidest thing ever said by a Speaker of the House.”
As O’Donnell has been saying since Monday, the so-called IRS scandal is only the consequence of an older and more basic problem with the organization’s reading of the tax code–specifically, with its reading of Section 501(c)(4), which exempts social welfare groups from paying taxes.
The law defines such groups as “civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.” Since 1959, the IRS has been reading “exclusively” as “primarily.”
“By doing that they made IRS agents judges of political activity, investigators of political activity,” O’Donnell explained in the Rewrite Thursday. “IRS agents were then forced to evaluate just how political a given 501(c)(4) organization might be. And it is very clear that if the words “Tea Party” or the name of any political party at all appears in the title of your 501(c)(4) you absolutely do not qualify for 501(c)(4) status under the law.”
So from my understanding these groups were trying to take advantage of a very confusing and pretty much broken code and then were screaming about it?

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05-17-2013, 05:10 PM
  #12
Epsilon
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With regards to the story I posted above, The Blaze is unsurprisingly making a huge deal over some of the individual cases, trying to make something out of nothing.

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Old
05-17-2013, 05:17 PM
  #13
thestonedkoala
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GOP caught in hypocrisy (or the world keeps spinning!)

http://www.salon.com/2013/05/16/joe_...exempt_status/

Quote:
Targeting nonprofit groups because of their political beliefs is wrong — pretty much everyone agrees on that. So today’s Scarborough must be outraged by his 2003 self, which gave this monologue on his show “Scarborough Country” on July 13, 2003:

The leader of the NAACP bashes President Bush and the Republican Party. Why is this clearly partisan group still being funded by your tax dollars? [...]

[T]he NAACP continues to get a free ride off of taxpayers because of the tax-exempt status that’s conferred to them by our federal government, now, this despite the fact the NAACP produced and ran the most vicious campaign attack ad in the history of televised presidential campaign. [...]

As Americans, NAACP members are free to speak their mind any time, day or night. But they shouldn’t be getting a tax-free ride on the backs of hard-working Americans who don’t get such preferential treatment. President Bush and members of Congress should have the guts to yank the tax-exempt status away from these left-wing activists. And while they’re at it, take away the tax exempt status of any right-wing activist who thumb their noses at the law as brazenly as does the NAACP.
So Scarborough who said quite openly that the tax except status of any right-wing activist who thumb their noses at the law (which these guys were doing) should have their tax free exempt status removed has done a 180 on it.



This is going to be fun to watch.

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05-17-2013, 05:57 PM
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Troy McClure
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I submit a number of applications for tax exemption every year. There are some very specific rules in place that limit how tax exempt organizations interact with the political world, and CONGRESS put those limitations in place. By asking questions of these obviously political organizations, the IRS is doing its job.

If Republicans aren't happy with this, they need to propose legislation that removes the political limitations from tax exempt organizations.

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05-17-2013, 06:19 PM
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Ilkka Sinisalo
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So this is basically a handful of bureaucrats cutting corners by using certain search terms to wade through a mountain of paperwork generated by ******** over the 2008 election? Always fun to see the Republican party try to turn some dopey federal government error into the next Watergate.

And to think I actually believed they might actually start coming up with good ideas after the 2012 losses instead of trying to win on petty political point-scoring.

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05-17-2013, 06:35 PM
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Troy McClure
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Yes, the scandal is that the IRS was cracking down on tax-hating political organizations that are applying to not have to pay taxes, many of which apparently didn't bother to read the rules that would apply to them.

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05-17-2013, 06:44 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy McClure View Post
Yes, the scandal is that the IRS was cracking down on tax-hating political organizations that are applying to not have to pay taxes, many of which apparently didn't bother to read the rules that would apply to them.
What's funny is you don't need to be approved to open and conduct business as 501(c)(4) "issue" group. Many were open and shut before they even got approved. But of course these groups were not set up to help get politicians elected. They were set up to oppose Obamacare and tell people about the threat of their guns being taken away etc....

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05-17-2013, 06:46 PM
  #18
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No, the AP story is the one with teeth. This one is mainly just about people slowing down the system.

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05-17-2013, 07:27 PM
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thestonedkoala
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Oh God this gets better. GOP spokeswoman just admitted Romney did not pay taxes while going after Reid. Id post a link but on my.cell.

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05-17-2013, 08:50 PM
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la patineuse
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So in 2004, right before the elections, the All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA received a letter from the IRS threatening to revoke the church's tax exempt status because the rector's gave an anti -war sermon. So where was all the outage when this happened?

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05-17-2013, 08:59 PM
  #21
Troy McClure
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Quote:
Originally Posted by la patineuse View Post
So in 2004, right before the elections, the All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA received a letter from the IRS threatening to revoke the church's tax exempt status because the rector's gave an anti -war sermon. So where was all the outage when this happened?
There actually has been a lot of outrage about that. A number of churches have gone very political and are daring the IRS. The IRS won't touch those churches because the media reaction would be crazy.

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05-17-2013, 09:13 PM
  #22
Ugmo
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I wish I knew why churches should be tax-exempt in the first place.

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05-17-2013, 09:14 PM
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Lol, I could just imagine what this board would be like if the IRS had been targeting liberal groups under Bush...

I agree that this scandal has teeth and Obama has not handled it well. What is most appalling is that the women who was in charge while the IRS was targeting conservative groups is now in charge of Obamcare.

What is going to hurt Obama the most is his and Carneys lies that they found out about this from the media last week. Treasury knew about this last June meaning that Geitner/Lew knew the IRS was targeting and denying conservative groups through the tax code. This was kept secret until after the election.

What really makes this stink is the way it was made public. Questions were planted at a Q&A with tax lawyers. Doesn't get much more shady than that.

Oh well, as long as the government uses it powers to target people you don't agree with everythings fine....

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05-17-2013, 09:16 PM
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Ugmo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Malone View Post
Lol, I could just imagine what this board would be like if the IRS had been targeting liberal groups under Bush...
LOL, they did do that under Bush!!1

Didn't read the thread again, eh Malone?

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05-17-2013, 09:17 PM
  #25
Kevin Malone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ugmo View Post
I wish I knew why churches should be tax-exempt in the first place.
I wish I knew why unions should be tax exempt in the first place

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