There is definitely something fishy going on at the IRS. There are two groups that are in bitter battles with the IRS over tax exempt status and an inappropriate questionnaire asking what involvement they have with Tea Party groups.
From The Weekly Standard:
Claim: IRS Won’t Grant Richmond Tea Party Tax Exempt Status
The Richmond Tea Party group is blasting the IRS for allegedly failing to grant tax exempt status to the pro-limited government organization. “The Internal Revenue Service has served Richmond Tea Party (RTP) with unreasonable requests to obtain a tax-exempt status, fitting the pattern of the Federal Government’s forcing liberty groups to spend inordinate time and money complying with their demands during this critical 2012 election year,” RTP claims in a press release.
According to the Richmond Tea Party, here’s the process that led to the “unreasonable documentation requests” from the IRS:
On December 28, 2009, RTP applied to become a 501(c)(4) organization. After nearly ten months, the IRS finally responded with a letter (dated September 17, 2010), requesting detailed documentation to satisfy 17 questions, giving RTP only a two-week window in which to finish. (As the response was curiously due on the opening day of the inaugural Virginia Tea Party Convention, for which RTP was a central organizer, we requested and received a two-week extension.) We fully complied, providing over 500 pages of documentation. We received no response for over a year. Eventually the IRS sent a letter dated January 9, 2012, thanking us for our “complete and thorough responses” from the first request, but then asking us to answer 12 additional questions in 53 separate parts, including the totally inappropriate request for a full list of our donors and volunteers. We were given the same two-week timeframe for completion. It should be noted that this most recent letter was issued on the same day that the IRS issued a new 45-section bulletin regarding applications for tax-exempt status.
The IRS did not immediately respond to THE WEEKLY STANDARD’s request for comment.
OHIO LIBERTY COUNCIL REFUSES TO COMPLY WITH IRS REQUEST
Columbus, Ohio - The Ohio Liberty Council today announce that it would refuse to comply with an IRS request for information concerning the organizations application for non-profit status which has been delayed for the past 18 months. The IRS was informed in a letter today from Ohio Liberty Council President, Tom Zawistowski, that said “We find that your requests are unreasonable, overly burdensome, intrusive and possibly politically motivated and that they have little to do with determining our organization’s qualifications for non-profit status. Instead we believe that your requests force our organization to either forfeit our First Amendment Rights to Free Political Speech and Freedom of Assembly or deny us the non-profit status we are entitled to under IRS regulations. Neither of which is acceptable.”
The letter went on to say “Therefore, we hereby refuse to comply with your request. We have asked our Congressional Representatives to investigate your actions and intentions and we are exploring every legal means available to defend our rights. We answered all pertinent questions about our organization in our detailed original 1024 application in June of 2010 and see no reason why non-profit status should not be granted. We hereby request that our organization be granted non-profit status on the basis of that application without further delay.”
Zawistowski closed by saying “I defy any American to read this list of demands by the IRS and not be outraged. This is the kind of personal information that this government is going to be demanding from your church, your doctor, your hospital, your business and your favorite charity going forward. This isn’t speculation, these documents prove it is actually happening and will continue – particularly under Obamacare. Like the Catholic Church, we will not comply, we will resist with all our might, and defend the Constitution.”
The Ohio Liberty Council is a council of leaders whose purpose is to unite conservative grassroots organizations for greater effectiveness in the state and nation, and to provide resources for member organizations to strengthen their groups. The OLC currently has over 75 liberty-minded groups across Ohio who are members of its coalition.
The following is from Tom Zawistowski President Ohio Liberty Council:
IRS Document Shows Government Overreach
The document [below] is an actual letter from the IRS to the Ohio Liberty Council
Dear Fellow Patriot,
I am writing to share with you, and I am copying some of our state and federal “representatives,” so that everyone can get a first hand look at how our Government looks at our movement, and what they are intentionally doing, as a government, to stop us. First of all, I know that many Ohio liberty groups have been waiting for months and even years to get their 501(c) 4 corporation applications processed by the IRS. We need to incorporate to protect our groups from liability and 501(c) 4 is the legal category for which our groups best fit, because of the political nature of what we do and it’s nonprofit status. However, the government is not processing our applications which puts our groups at great financial risk until they are approved. As you will see below, this is no accident.
Many groups have filed what is called an IRS 1024 form to apply for Federal Tax Exempt Status so that we can do our income taxes. My own Portage County TEA Party has been waiting for over a year just to get a response from the IRS so we can file our 2010 tax return! In the attached PDF I share with you, the “Additional Information Requested” of the Ohio Liberty Council from our June 30th, 2010 application which we just received on January 30, 2012. Yes, they took a year and a half to respond to our application and they are giving us two weeks to respond back. As you will see, this is no simple request.
We have been told by people in Washington that the IRS is under specific instructions to delay and scrutinize any applications having to do with TEA Party or Liberty Groups. I ask our “representatives”, and your should be asking yours, when they are going to call the IRS in front of a Congressional Committee and demand to know if this is true, who has implemented this policy, and why?
I want you to share with all your friends and relatives, who think we are all paranoid about government intrusion into our lives, the attached PDF. Have them read what our government is asking from us, so that we, as a group, are able to have free political speech and be able to support the causes and individuals we choose to support. See if they think these requests are “reasonable”. Would they want me to share this information about them? These documents are real – not something from our imagination or from the Soviet Union. I have to respond to them if we want our tax exempt status.
It’s not just the absurd requests like “provide a hard copy printout of your organization’s website” and “list the social media outlets (you use to promote and publicize your organization) and provide hardcopy printouts of those outlets.” Take a look at how many pieces of paper that takes. They don’t just want the URL of our website, they want a hard copy, and yes they want us to fax it to them, not email a PDF – I am not kidding. How about asking us to provide a list of anyone we invite to speak to our groups, including their “qualification” and contact information, and provide hard copies of everything that was handed out, and a list of everyone who attends those events? You like that one?
How about wanting the “name, address, and corporate federal ID of all organizations that are members of our organization” or who attend one of our events? What does that have to do with our organization being classified as being not-for-profit? Do you think that is not government overreaching? Best of all, in the cover letter, they inform us that once we provide this information, they will then make it all public!!! Does this sound more to you like something the KGB would want to determine if you are a threat to the “cause” Comrade? You haven’t gotten the half of it. Print out the PDF. Then read it carefully, because it will scare you and then it will make you VERY angry.
These documents are what this Government has in store, not just for TEA Party groups, but for your business, your church, your boy scout troop, your gun club, your favorite charity, your doctor, your life. If we do not rise up and defeat Barack Obama and then REQUIRE the Republicans we elect to wake up and disassemble this big government machine that is bent on enslaving us all, we will all suffer the same fate of all the people in communist and socialist states throughout history who failed to demand and defend individual liberty. Show this to the people you know, who do not yet believe we should fear this government, in an effort to get them to join us in pushing our nation back from the brink of disaster, and on toward a renewed commitment to individual freedom and liberty. Together, we cannot fail.
Ohio Liberty Council
IRS – 1851 Center for Constitutional Law
Radtke Calls for IRS Investigation Over Tea Party “Assault”