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Letter: Real scandal is corruption of tax-exempt rules

Tax-exempt status abused by both sides

11:57 AM, May 16, 2013  |  Comments

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EDITOR: The Internal Revenue Service has singled out some small right wing groups for "special treatment" under the tax-exempt rules.

The scandal is not that the IRS has singled out these groups. The scandal is not even that the IRS has picked on these small, relatively powerless organizations and has avoided doing this to the large, powerful, super PACs.

The scandal is that the tax exempt rules have been corrupted so as to allow lobbying by blatantly political organizations of both the right and left wings.

Alow me to present my credentials as an expert here. A decade or so ago, I was charged with getting tax-exempt status for the River Valley Jazz Society, the mission of which is to promote education and participation in jazz music.

The application for such status is complex and requires special knowledge. I consulted a lawyer who proposed to charge us a discounted fee of $2,000. We did not have $2,000, so I did the application myself.

During the next six months or so I learned a lot about tax-exempt rules.

Now recall the young woman who appeared on national television tearfully recounting how her tea party organization was harassed by the IRS. All she was doing was lobbying to get Obamacare repealed.

That kind of activity is forbidden by the tax-exempt rules. So her application was justifiably delayed.

The applications of George Soros and Charles Koch, with their billions to spend, were no doubt approved speedily by IRS agents cowering in terror over getting stomped on by rooms full of lawyers and accountants.

Louis Pradt,

Wausau

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