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IRS proposes “Tea Party” rules

IRS proposes “Tea Party” rules

Comment period is open, you can voice your view.

Call it the political equivalent of the “Polar Vortex”.

As we enter Day 244 of the Internal Revenue Service scandal of suppressing conservative groups by the unfair application of tax-exempt status rules, there is a development that is chilling the hearts of citizen activists everywhere.

The IRS is planning to codify its tactics into truly heavy-handed regulations. Matt Kibbe of Freedom Works explains:

“While you were all celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, the Obama Administration was quietly releasing a new set of draconian IRS regulations that would make it virtually impossible for tea parties that want to participate in the political process to do their business. They’re going after conservative groups, they’re going after libertarian groups, and they’re going after citizen groups that want to organize people based on the values of the constitution; based on the ideas of freedom and have an impact on the political conversation.”

In a nutshell, the agency will be using one of the administration’s favorite tactics: Redefining terms. There would be favorable rulings for groups promoting “social welfare.”

Meanwhile, the definition of political activity would be broadened. A snippet of the proposed rule:

These proposed regulations provide guidance on which activities will be considered candidate-related political activity for purposes of the regulations under section 501(c)(4). These proposed regulations would replace the language in the existing final regulation under section 501(c)(4)—“participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office”—with a new term—“candidate-related political activity”—to differentiate the proposed section 501(c)(4) rule from the standard employed under section 501(c)(3) (and currently employed under section 501(c)(4)). The proposed rule is intended to help organizations and the IRS more readily identify activities that constitute candidate-related political activity and, therefore, do not promote social welfare within the meaning of section 501(c)(4). These proposed regulations do not otherwise define the promotion of social welfare under section 501(c)(4). The Treasury Department and the IRS note that the fact that an activity is not candidate-related political activity under these proposed regulations does not mean that the activity promotes social welfare. Whether such an activity promotes social welfare is an independent determination.

So, while groups like Organizing for America will be deemed “social welfare” organizations and exempt from taxation, entities like the NorCal Tea Party will be classified as having some sort of “candidate-related political activity”.

Hal Bray, the 2nd Vice Chair for the Contra Costa Republican Party, expands on the likely consequences.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new rules will restrict the ability of 501(c)(4) groups to conduct nonpartisan voter registration and voter education; the organizations would also be forbidden to leave records of officeholder votes and public statements on their websites in the two months prior to an election. Ultimately, the goal of these new rules is the intimidation of conservative donors though the disclosure of private information.

However, we have a chance for a little “insurrection”. You can comment on the proposed rules by clicking HERE before Feb. 27th, the end-date for the comment period.

“I find it interesting that Feb. 27th was the date chosen, as it marks the fifth anniversary of the start of the national Tea Party movement,” noted Dawn Wildman, President of the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition.

Wildman explains that though the Obama administration said they had stopped the unfair treatment of conservative groups, it is obvious from this regulation, “…it is obviously business as usual. I look forward to see what conservative stalwarts like Darrell Issa, Rand Paul, and other Republicans championed by grassroots groups will do to get the message out so we can stop this regulatory travesty.”

Wildman also indicates that the California Tea Party groups, as well as others across the nation, are beginning the drive to push-back against these rules. She urges conservatives to add their comments, as well as contacting their congressional representatives.


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Besides doing the action items above we should rename our groups from Such & Such Tea Party to, e.g., “Socially Altruistic Citizens for Hope and Change.”

Then we go about our Tea Party business.

    How about Socially Altruistic Cranky Citizens for Ending WH Dope and Chains? Too revealing?

    I think I’ll start a Tea Party non-profit and call it “Organization That Says “No” to Government In An Environmentally Conscious Way” or “Organizing to Presume Global Warming is Man-made in Washington”

    Somehow, I don’t think these names will work.

    That’s really not a bad idea. Progressives aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer so if you put “justice” “social justice” or “progressive” in your organization’s name, I imagine you’d get an immediate green light.

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | January 9, 2014 at 8:57 am

Personally, I like the name “Minnesotans for Fair Play and Social Justice.” Or, perhaps other wordings as determined by the group that wants to so organize. Sam Adams would be proud of group names so thusly chosen, as he did in his original such venture.

I read something one of the Founders said yesterday – it was something about not expecting mercy from law breakers.

The Tea Party is a huge threat to the federal workers, if they are intent on doing this, and they have a vested interest in doing so, it will take a huge response to stop them.

The only way I can see is if somehow we were able to force the new interpretation of the rule to include groups like Organizing for America and other “social welfare” organizations. By fair means or foul.

    Musson in reply to betty. | January 9, 2014 at 9:13 am

    The IRS is now the enforcement wing of the the DNC – not because they have been instructed to be but because they have been allowed to be.

    The Democrat Administration has made it known that liberal government employees are free to harass conservatives and libertarians to their hearts content, without fear of retribution.

Interestingly, the fundamental problem the right faces here is that the left knows it will not respond in kind.

Were conservatives to note that they will specifically interpret various lefty causes as political activism and not social welfare in a manner that was serious enough to make the left believe the left would not be pursuing this sort of activity.

In WWII the Germans have the ability to use chemicals weapons, but they choose not to because they knew the allies would respond in kind…

Of course the larger answer is for the right to begin to get serious about abolishing the IRS. Not only would this get rid of these kind of problems and enlarge the amount of freedom Americans have, but it would be a DAMN POPULAR wedge issue.

Let the Left own the IRS…

Of course the problem here is that the Republican leadership is just about as liberal as the Democrat leadership and has no interest in winning if it means significantly rolling back government.

    platypus in reply to 18-1. | January 9, 2014 at 10:35 am

    “Of course the problem here is that the Republican leadership is just about as liberal as the Democrat leadership and has no interest in winning if it means significantly rolling back government.”

    Exactly right. Kudos.

Midwest Rhino | January 9, 2014 at 10:01 am

The local morning news gets the talking points from corporate … so they led with how big this Christie story is, and followed up a minute later. They’ll be like a dog with a juicy bone now, with a mission.

But using the IRS to damage any that would oppose Obama … not a story at all. Leaving men to die in Benghazi to enforce the political narrative “al Qaeda is on the run” … not a story.

Any conservative that makes it to the national news should decry this abuse, and compare it to Benghazi and the IRS. And to the problem of entrenched bureaucrats in a super sized government.

Quick, get Darrell Issa and Paul Ryan on the case. Then we’ll know nothing will happen. And nothing will happen. Chris Christie’s staff pulls a juvenile stunt and the ENTIRE Leftist empire descends on him calling for resignation. Obama kills people with drones, invades and seizes private emails and other records, smuggles guns to the cartel, shuts down public spaces, refuses to enforce federal laws, makes up other federal laws and militarizes every federal branch of the government and the GOP sporadically huffs and puffs before Congress then appeals for bipartisan peace.

Revolution, third party or goodbye America. Those are your choices.

    walls in reply to raven. | January 9, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Door #3 is NOT an option.

    Daiwa in reply to raven. | January 9, 2014 at 10:46 am

    You’ve nailed it. So sadly true.

    Radegunda in reply to raven. | January 9, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    “third party”? Have you looked at a ballot lately? There’s already a third and fourth and fifth party on most of them. They pull low single figures or fractions of single figures. Good luck setting up an entirely new “third” party that can beat the Reps and Dems around the country.

    There’s a Communist Party that encourages its membership to support Democrats and defend Obama. (Remember that he started his political career in a “third party”?) The far-left coercive collectivists have been racking up successes not by running a “third party,” but by infiltrating and taking over one of the two major parties. Many conservatives evidently are not as savvy.

Essentially this is saying that any group committed to the Great Transition as Kenneth Boulding named it in 1962 and as the OECD and the Tellus Institute and the Club of Rome call it now is committed to social welfare and entitled to tax exempt treatment. If you still believe that the US Constitution was created to be a barrier to just such an experiment in collectivist rule of the oligarchy, you are out of bounds now.

Fits with what is going on everywhere else in the federal agencies as spending and regulation become a means of usurping all individual autonomy. I noticed this morning that the Brookings Institute is more focused on LBJ’s May 22, 1964 speech at Michigan as what laid out his real Great Society vision. It can be found here and is worth reading.

The Obama administration is behaving as if 50 years was too long to wait and nothing will stop this toxic vision now.

I always say beware of what gets released around the holidays. This is a doozy.

Unfortunately, I do not trust the link Matt provided with my information. The tyranny is in the open now. This is war.

This is discrimination, plain and simple.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Moe4. | January 9, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    No. This is tyranny. This is political suppression and oppression. After this is the prison camps.

PersonFromPorlock | January 9, 2014 at 11:05 am

OK, it’s dirty pool, but is tax-exempt status essential? I’d say that at this point the practical thing to do is come up with a workaround.

    Excellent idea! Is tax exempt actually necessary or a convenience?

      Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to MarkS. | January 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      If a business does not show a “Profit” it pays ZERO taxes. So in effect it would be “tax exempt.

      You do have to show a profit every 3 or 4 years according to tax laws or the IRS will rule it just a “hobby.”

      Imagine that. Defending freedom, social justice, and liberty as just a “hobby” in the U.S. of A.!

      But if the IRS tried to redefine that profit shown once every 3 or 4 years rule, then all holy heck would break out in the business sector!

    That’s a really good question. I’ve practiced tax law for >30 years, developing an expertise in tax-exempt organizations. On first blush clients insist that they must have c3 status. Depending on what they have in mind, c4 often is the only vehicle available to them if they are unable or do not wish to change the corporate mission. As part of the consulting process I further ask, Do you really need exemption from the income tax itself? Most of the clients for which I’ve done work are shoe-string, conservative groups (e.g., churches, pro-life groups, Constitution-by-the-book groups) which will have NO problem whatsoever avoiding paying any income tax. Why? Because if they’re doing it right, their expenses will easily/always exceed revenue/contributions; meaning that there’ll be no taxable income to which the income tax law would apply.

    This explains why many of the Tea Party groups should just form themselves as a regular corporation and go about their objectives. This has a further big advantage – assured privacy; no public disclosures are required.

    Thus the desire for tax-exempt recognition often comes down to a cachet reputation (“we’re tax-exempt”) as if that endows the group with some sort of blessing. But desire is not need. In the case of the c4 this is largely overblown since contributions to c4s are not tax deductible to the donor (despite their being tax-exempt to the recipient). And in the case of many of these TP grassroots operations which receive relatively small donations, because the people contributing are not big buck type of people who want the group to curry favor with government but rather are people who want government smaller and to leave them alone, these people are quite unlikely to be itemizing anyway.

    On occasion I’ll have a client whose has found a sugar daddy, i.e., someone willing to give a sizeable donation but only if he/she can be assured of the tax deduction. In that case going through the effort of obtaining c3 status is worth the effort. But that’s more an exception.

    Save the effort of going through the laborious efforts in completing the 1023/1024. Get yourself a run-of-the-mill corporation (regular, LLC, et al.), and go out and do your work.

      SafeTea in reply to pfg. | January 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      All excellent points. I have a number of charitable groups I give to throughout the year, and I feel so strongly in their goals I could care less whether or not I pay taxes on any donations I send them.

      Additionally, I find that this regime’s petty hatred for whom it deems its enemies so fetid that it may behoove donors to give quietly without the tax claim. Shameful but true.

      gracepmc in reply to pfg. | January 9, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Good point. This would solve the targeting by the IRS. However, in today’s climate, I suspect that scrutiny will simply shift to the FBI or DOJ.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to PersonFromPorlock. | January 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Please read PFG’s excellent advice on this matter downstream in this post!

Burn_the_Witch | January 9, 2014 at 11:14 am

Another pro-Tea Party post from someone who will still vote like a loyal Democrat when the time comes.

Why go on that website and comment on the proposed rules? The fix is in. And I don’t want to give the gubmint more info on myself … although they probably already have a mountain.

“Whether such an activity promotes social welfare is an independent determination.” — In other words, a subjective determination. How else to explain Obama’s campaign organization under a different name being “social welfare” and not “political”? The Dems at the IRS will say that leftist policies ipso facto “promote social welfare” while conservative policies do not.

Henry Hawkins | January 9, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Given how the establishment GOP has also declared open season on the Tea Party, I’m guessing we ought not expect much help from the US House, eh? They’re all saying, “gee ain’t that horrible what the Obama admin is doing to the Teeps?” while giggling and smirking behind their palms.

As my first official act as President, I will ask for the resignations of every employee at IRS and EPA.

Those who refuse will be lined up and shot.

After that, I will embark on a program of reform of current regulations and the regulatory process, streamling the government, and pruning such bureaucracies which hang around after Step One.

Just start a group with the negative in the title.

If “social welfare” is not a partisan political concept then “Citizens against the sham propaganda titled social welfare” would also not be a partisan political concept.

You also need to consider how the progressive fascists pass bills that subsidize their front groups which then make donations to the party.

ObamaCare is going to spend $700 million on education. Guess what? The money is going to spend in states where Democrats are in danger of losing seats in congress! I expect that these front groups will be provided large sums and then donate a portion of the money to the candidates election campaign. Pretty hard to compete when your tax dollars funding your opposition.

The Senate’s amnesty bill contained big bugs that were to be used to pay the progressive fascist front groups to guide the new citizens into the arms of the Democratic party! I am sure that a portion of that would have ended up in the progressive fascist candidates campaign coffers also.

bucks not bugs!