Numerous Tea Party chapters claim IRS attempts to sabotage nonprofit status

by
February 29, 2012

By , Fox News

Tea Party chapters around the nation are blasting the Internal Revenue Service after the federal agency sent them letters demanding information about their politics, contributors and even family members.

In letters sent from IRS offices in Cincinnati earlier this month, chapters including the Waco (Texas) Tea Party and the Ohio Liberty Council were asked to provide a list of donors, identify volunteers, financial support for and relationships with political candidates and parties, and even printed copies of their Facebook pages.

“Some of what they (the IRS) asked was reasonable, but there were some requests on there that were strange,” Toby Marie Walker, president of the Waco Tea Party told FoxNews.com. “It makes you wonder if they do this to groups like ACORN or other left-leaning groups.”

The chapters that received requests were registering for nonprofit status as a 501(c)4 organizations. The classification mainly differs from 501(c)3 groups in that donors cannot deduct their contributions from their taxable income.

The tax code places fewer restrictions on 501(c)4 groups, allowing them to lobby in furtherance of their organizations’ mission. They are also permitted to engage in political activity like endorsing candidates and donating money and time to specific campaigns, though it cannot be their primary activity.

The more tightly controlled, but more heavily subsidized 501(c)3 groups may not participate in specific campaigns at all.

Tea Party leaders say they were particularly offended by demands that they name donors and volunteers, which is required by law, but were also asked to list any political ambitions of board members or their relatives.

Colleen Owens, spokeswoman for the Richmond (Va.) Tea Party claims that her chapter had a similar letter sent to them just two weeks before they were to hold a local convention in which they were asked to provide nearly 500 pages in documents.

To read more, visit: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/02/28/numerous-tea-party-chapters-claim-irs-attempting-to-sabotage-non-profit-status/#ixzz1nju9qErH

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