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501c4 Applications Low When IRS Scrutiny Began

From the Daily Caller:

501(c)(4) applications lower when IRS began targeting conservatives

By Patrick Howley | May 20, 2013

Despite claims that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was under seige [sic] by a flood of new tax-exempt applications from nonprofit political groups in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, the number of 501(c)(4) applications to the IRS actually dropped around the time the IRS began targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

As we have previously noted, this claim has been trumpeted by both the Washington Post and the New York Times as an excuse for the IRS’s activities. And the news media have also used it to justify the need for more hirings at the IRS and for it to be given even more funding.

The IRS received 1,735 applications from groups seeking 501(c)(4) nonprofit status in fiscal year 2010, 16 less than the 1,751 applications it received in fiscal year 2009, according to a report released by the Treasury Inspector General.

IRS targeting of conservative groups began in February 2010, in the fifth month of fiscal year 2010.

Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner, head of the agency’s tax-exempt division, said, “between 2010 and 2012, we started seeing a very big uptick in the number of 501(c)(4) applications we were receiving, and many of these organizations applying more than doubled, about 1500 in 2010 and over 3400 in 2012.”

None of which was true. In fact, it doesn’t seem like anything Ms. Lerner told Congress was true.

The New York Times [has also falsely reported] a “Flood of Applications” the IRS received in the aftermath of Citizens United, including from groups seeking 501(c)(4) status, which requires groups to promote “social welfare.”

The Times reported that “hundreds of new applications began to arrive from Tea Party and other organizations” in an article Saturday that merely accused the infamous IRS Cincinnati office of “confusion” and “staff troubles.”

“The Times joins the IRS and the Obama Administration in telling a false history designed to both excuse IRS targeting tea party groups and to push a partisan agenda to restrict political speech,” wrote Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment…

Naturally. It is not The Times’ job to uncover scandals under Democrat administrations. It is their job to cover them up. And if they have to make things up to do that, so be it.

Meanwhile, here is more on the ever expanding list of IRS targets, also via the Daily Caller:

IRS targeted conservative college interns

By Patrick Howley | May 20, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) demanded information about conservative groups’ college-aged interns, prompting outrage from one of the country’s top conservative activist organizations and leading one former intern to wonder whether his family’s pizza parlor would be endangered.

The IRS requested, in an audit, the names of the conservative Leadership Institute’s 2008 interns, as well as specific information about their internship work and where the interns were employed in 2012, according to a document request the IRS sent to the Leadership Institute, dated February 14, 2012.

The IRS requested:

“Copies of applications for internships and summer programs; to include: lists of those selected for internships and students in 2008.
– In regards to such internships, please provide information regarding where the interns physically worked and how the placement was arranged.
– After completing internships and courses, where were the students and interns employed?”

The Arlington, Virginia-based Leadership Institute is a conservative activist training organization founded in 1979 by Virginia Republican National Committeeman Morton C. Blackwell, the youngest elected delegate to the 1964 Republican convention that nominated Barry Goldwater. The institute was audited in 2011…

The Leadership Institute’s audit, which was conducted by the IRS’ Baltimore office and which ended with no determination of wrongdoing but cost the conservative group $50,000 in legal fees, only covered the year 2008, leading employees to speculate that the IRS’ primary interest was figuring out how the group operates during a presidential election year.

“They were very interested in seeing what conservative organizations were doing in 2008, and where the interns from 2008 were now employed,” Leadership Institute vice president of programs David Fenner told the Daily Caller, adding that he “absolutely” believed the IRS audited information from 2008 because it was an election year.

“We declined to give them the names” of former interns, Fenner said… “It has the feel of a watch list,” Fenner added.

2008 Leadership Institute intern Shane McGonigal, who is now a Leadership Institute regional field coordinator, said that he feared his family’s pizza parlor could be jeopardized by the IRS’ audit.

“It didn’t just affect me, it affected my family too,” McGonigal, who was a 21-year old Virginia college student during his 2008 internship, told TheDC…

Mr. McGonigal was probably right to be afraid. Unfortunately, that was the whole intention of these audits.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, May 21st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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