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IRS Holds Off On Tax Exemption Changes — For Now

From Heritage:

IRS Holds Off — for Now — on Rules to Restrict Political Groups

By Amy Payne | May 23, 2014

…Yesterday, the IRS announced it would hold off until next year on new rules that would have restricted the activities of nonprofit groups.

In fact, this was announced late yesterday. Earlier in the day the reports had said the IRS was going to proceed with the rules change, despite the protests. Maybe the White House decided that it was bad timing, given the VA scandal and Benghazi probe. They don’t want to remind people of their IRS scandal.

The administration had been working on these behind the scenes since last year. But after the agency’s targeting of conservative groups – based on their ideological leanings – came to light, it caused an uproar.

An uproar? Just because the IRS was saying it was going to codified the very kind of discrimination that Lois Lerner and company were practicing against the Tea Party? Some people really are overly sensitive.

Heritage legal expert Hans von Spakovsky told The Foundry:

The announcement by the IRS that it intends to rethink its proposed rules on political activity by advocacy organizations is welcome news. These rules would have severely restricted their First Amendment rights and violated Supreme Court precedent. They were an attempt to implement the “inappropriate criteria” disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner used to target tea party and other conservative organizations.

Which, of course, is the Obama MO. If he can’t achieve his goals one way, he tries another.

It’s at least somewhat refreshing that the agency paid attention to a massive outpouring of criticism. Von Spakovsky had noted recently:

By February 27, 2014, the deadline for public comments, the IRS had received more than 150,000 comments—the vast majority of them negative—which is a record number for an IRS rulemaking. In fact, according to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, this was more than double the number of public comments that the Treasury Department and the IRS had received for all of their “draft proposals over the last seven years.”

Except that the IRS and the state-controlled news media used this record number of comments as an excuse to go forward with their plans.

From a Reuters from yesterday: "The IRS has been inundated with a historic number of demands for changes to the rules, prompting the need to overhaul them, the agency said."

To continue from Heritage:

Why were people so up in arms? As von Spakovsky said, these rules would institutionalize the types of practices the IRS had been using to target organizations inappropriately – which were violating Americans’ First Amendment rights. True to the administration’s pattern, the rules would have gone beyond the IRS’s authority, as well…"

But be warned: IRS officials said their rewrite is “certainly is not starting over and certainly not starting from scratch,” reports Politico. The new proposal should come out next year, and Americans will have to be ready to defend their freedoms – again.

More likely we won’t ever hear about this again, until somebody notices that the changes were slipped into the Federal Register on some late summer Friday evening when nobody is looking.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, May 23rd, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “IRS Holds Off On Tax Exemption Changes — For Now”


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