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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Specific Contrast example of how IRS treated Tax-Exempt Filers

There's so many big stories this week and so little regarding economics and finance, we've been hesitant to really spend much time getting into the fray.

You got the Bengazi situation from last year coming back into focus for at least another week or so, the IRS admitting they targeted both Conservative and Jewish organizations with unfair bias when applying for tax-exempt status, and Associated Press claiming the government seized phone records over a two month period in 2012 in a probe to see how they gather their news in the wake of a CIA operation in Yemen...

The problem with most news like this is that nothing ever comes about..

No prosecutions.. No voluntary resignations.. No impeachments..

There's some hubbub and rigmarole to incite partisan passions and then the weekend rolls around and all everyone is concerned about is Memorial Day weekend preparations and the symbolic beginning of 'summer fun'.

Oh trust us-- we wish and hope any or all of these three situations blow up into a mighty political dust-cloud.. preferably so large it gets into the eyes of and badly stings n' blinds Wall Street.
Of course if the final result of all this is a 'President Joseph Biden', that's not That much for political enemies of the President to celebrate, is it?

If we had to focus on one of the three current stories making the rounds, we'll take on the most dry topic--  IRS.  Always a challenge to see if one can make dry toast taste like a warm buttery croissant..

What makes what the IRS (and whoever instructed them) so evil isn't merely the targeting of groups from a political or religious affiliation, but the combination of stall tactics and deep intrusion via the questioning to make the applying for tax-exempt status as sadistic as possible.
According to the DailyMail UK, one Tea Party group, the Richmond Tea Party was asked 55 questions after more than two years for waiting...  Fifty-Five!

Here's a mere sampling:

3) Provide the following information for all the events and programs you have conducted and participated from October 22,2010 to now (other than the events and programs that are questioned below separately). Please answer the following for each event:

a) The time, location, and detailed description of each event or program

b) Copies of handouts you provided to the audience, participants, and the public
c) The names and credentials of the organizers

d) If speeches or forums were conducted in the event or program, provide detailed contents of the speeches or forums, names of the speakers or panels, and their credentials. If any speakers or panel members were paid, provide the amount were paid for each person. If not, please indicate they volunteered to conduct the event or program.

e) The names of persons from your organization and the amount of time they spent on the event or program. Indicate the name and amount of time they spent on the event or program.  
f)  Indicate the name and amount of compensation that were paid to each person' If no one were paid, indicate this event were conducted by volunteers to each person.  Indicate the percentage of time and resources you spent on all the events and programs in relation to 100% of all your activities.

g) Will your near future events and programs remain similar to those you have been conducting recently? If not, explain the changes of your events and programs in the near future in terms of contents, time, and resources.

Indicate.. Indicate.. Indicate!!

Marsha.. Marsha.. Marsha!!  (Brady Bunch reference there)
Now when President Obama's brother Malik applied for tax exempt status to the Barak H. Obama Foundation, senior IRS official Lois Lerner granted it rather quickly...

How quick?  18 months?  12?   maybe 6?

Nope--  1 month.

Lerner also appears to have broken with the norms of tax-exemption approval by granting retroactive tax-exempt status to Malik Obama’s organization.
From DailyCaller:

"Lerner granted the organization a 501(c) determination and even gave it a retroactive tax exemption dating back to December 2008.

The group’s available paperwork suggests an extremely hurried application and approval process. For example, the group’s 990 filings for 2008 and 2009 were submitted to the IRS on May 30, 2011, and its 2010 filing was submitted on May 23, 2011.

Lerner signed the group’s approval [pdf] on June 26, 2011.

It is illegal to operate for longer than 27 months without an IRS determination and solicit tax-deductible contributions."
The ostensibly Arlington, Va.-based charity was not even registered in Virginia despite the foundation’s website including a donation button that claimed tax-exempt status.

A little background on Abon’go “Roy’ Malik Obama-- He is Barack Obama’s half-brother and was the best man at his wedding, and he has a checkered past. In addition to running his charity, Malikran unsuccessfully to be the governor of Siaya County in Kenya.

He was accused of being a wife beater and seducing the newest of his twelve wives while she was a 17-year-old school girl.

So Lerner approves tax-exempt status for that Foundation in one month and retrogrades it by 36 months, but will ask the Richmond Tea Party this:
10)Are you a membership organization? If so, provide the following for your membership.

a) How many members do you have currently?

b) What does the memberships consist of? Are they mostly individuals? What is the percentage of the organizational members as they are part of the whole membership?

c) Provide member application/registration form

d) Provide membership agreement and rules that governs members.
e) Provide a membership fee schedule.

f) What are the membership requirements?

g) What services and benefits do you provide especially for members only?

h) What are the roles and duties of your members?

i) Provide copies of your website that your members can only access.
In a free society like ours it is truly unacceptable for any group of people to be targeted in this way based on mere ideological opinions.  But in a way its not surprising..

Government is paranoid... So desperately afraid of any force(s) threatening its power.   Remember- you work for its benefit, not it working for yours.

And when the Dept of Homeland Security buys 10s of thousands of automatic weapons and hundreds of thousands of bullets to arm local police, trust us,its not to fight an enemy thousands of miles away.
Like we said, we hope this turns into something Big... We Hope lots of head will roll for this..  Major repercussions...

But we've been burnt so many times..

So for now, we'll just sit back and observe while not being tempted by the enticing possibility of sparks turning into gorgeous wildfire...

And think on happy things..  Like cats and piggies