501(c)4 war about to begin

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Sydde, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Sydde, Mar 8, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012

    Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
    The IRS is about to begin examining 501(c)4 organizations to determine whether their tax exempt status is merited. These are "Social Welfare" oriented non-profits or charities that are not supposed to be primarily engaged in political activities though some may be allowed.

    If the IRS finds such an organization in violation of the 501(c)4 charter, it may order publication of the list of donors or lose their tax-exempt status. Not surprisingly, some groups with deep pockets are rather upset about this, because we are not supposed to actually know where the money driving elections is coming from. Secret ballot and all that, I guess.


    (Curious aside: I just learned that the NFL is a tax-exempt 501(c)6 organization.)
  2. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    I think I heard on Fresh Air that the current interpretation is > 51% "education" and < 49% attack ads. Amazing that anyone would have trouble staying under the limit :eek:
  3. Sydde thread starter macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
    If they have effective legal counsel (pro bono I would imagine), they might be able to argue that some of their political messages amount to "educating the public on the issues/candidates".

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