Now this post makes me wonder what the heck are the Democrats, IRS and Treasury thinking. Instead of deleting the entire section called 501(c) 3 and 4 from the tax codes, IRS and the Treasury in July 16, 2018 were doubling down on social welfare organizations under 501 (c)(4).
IRS will no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations to file personally-identifiable information about their donors as part of their annual return.Treasury Press Release July 16, 2018
I abhor the idea that there are protected groups abusing the tax exempt class like many are doing under 501(c). The IRS has done a piss poor oversight and vetting of this tax exempt class over the years. They have also been outed weaponizing it with political bias as we saw under Obama for the Tea Party and other conservative political groups. I would rather see the whole section removed than allow the continued abuse and loss of taxes to the federal coffers. But…
Now it seems “the times they are a changing” at IRS and Treasury but not for more transparency or because the class has been eliminated. Democrats are actually demanding more transparency — not less — which should send out alarm signals for conservatives or concerned citizens and groups. This article from Conservative Revival may explain why all of this is puzzling and an apparent turn around in thinking for Democrats.
The Supreme Court Is About to Hear a Case That Could Decide Donald Trump’s Fate
- Conservative Revival
- May 9, 2019
Democrats are gearing up for the legal battle that will define the Trump era. This case figures to go all the way to the highest court in the land.
The Trump administration implemented Revenue Procedure 2018-38 to allow nonprofit issue advocacy groups to protect the names and private information of their donors from being entered into government databases in June 2018.
This infuriated liberals. Left-wing “campaign finance reform” activists claim all they want is donor disclosure for the sake of transparency and good government.
But that’s a lie.
Democrats want 501(c)(4) nonprofit groups to turn over the names of their donors so they can subject their political opponents to personal and professional harassment.
That’s exactly what happened to former Firefox CEO Brendan Eich.
Democrats are trying to turn that un-American political terrorism into an everyday occurrence.
The Attorney Generals of New York and New Jersey are suing the federal government claiming the Trump administration implemented this rule change without proper notification and transparency.
Attorney General Letitia James released a statement explaining the lawsuit.
What Democrats really want are the names and addresses of conservative donors so they can stalk them at their homes and places of business. Liberals want to make the price of opposing the Democrat Party the inability to live or work in peace.
Their bet is most Americans will fear for their jobs or the privacy of their home lives and the money to support conservative or pro-Trump issue advocacy groups will dry up and the opposition to the left will die.
And this case could have a massive impact on the 2020 election.
If the courts strike down this rule, left-wing bureaucrats at the IRS will leak the names of Trump supporters and other conservatives. It will be open season on anyone who opposes the liberal vision for America.
Read the article HERE.
To be a bit more clear, the UP Counsel said this about (c)4s – The social organization groups under (c)4 can be engaged in politics and lobby for specific legislation, so long as they don’t spend more than half of their money on campaign advertisements or activities to sway an election.
Section 501(c)3 specifically are those that are considered public charities, private foundations or private operating foundations. The most common types of 501(c)3 groups are churches and museums. Most foundations such as the Clinton, Obama, or Open Society fall under (c)3 and are supposed to be limited in their political actions such as lobbying.
Section 501(c)4 are organizations that must not be organized for profit and must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare. A few include: Crossroads GPS (Karl Rove); Organizing for Action (Obama); National Rifle Association; Vote Vets; Concerned Vets for America, Project Veritas Action; Homeowner, Tenant, Police, Firefighter, Employee, and Healthcare associations; and Planned Parenthood.
Another difference between the groups is the listing of donors. (c)3 groups do not have to list their donors and much of their information behind their 990 remains private. By law though, (c)4 groups are public information that includes donors as well as vague reference to their activities.
- Section 501(c)5 status is labor, agricultural, or horticultural organizations.
- Section 501(c)6 status is business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, boards of trade and professional football leagues, which are not organized for profit .
- Section 501(c)7status is for other social clubs.
We need to address the elephant in the room – Brendan Eich. Eich co-founded the Mozilla project, the Mozilla Foundation, and the Mozilla Corporation. He is well-known in the industry. On March 24, 2014, Eich was promoted to CEO of Mozilla Corporation. Eich resigned from the position not very long after the day he was promoted when there was so much conflict after receiving the promotion.
One of the more abhorrent reasons given for not approving of his selection came from one small Mozilla group who went sleuthing and found that he had donated a $1,000 to an anti-gay marriage proposition in the California legislature. They even went so far as to use client information to blitz them warnings about his anti-gay donation.
This smear campaign was not the specific reason he resigned. Mozilla Upper management knew about the donation before appointing him. It was the abrupt and rabid refusal of more than a few in the Mozilla groups to accept his leadership.
For some back then inside and outside the tech industry, the idea that the socialist tech industry was ramping up to attack people who did not share their views, even senior management well-known people like Brendan Eich, was alarming.
Some of the tactics that were used were invasive, abusive, and border-line criminal in their fervor to oust him. As a reminder this was five years ago and two years before Obama left office so this censorship and rabid leftist behavior is not brand new to Trump but has been building for years.
On April 3, 2014, Eich stepped down as CEO and resigned from working at Mozilla; in his personal blog, Eich posted that “under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader. (Wikipedia)
Eich didn’t let them ruin his life though. He became founder and CEO of Brave Software, Inc. Brave is advertised as a free and open-source web browser giving users a safer, faster and better browsing experience.
That worry about the censorship and the angst of the leftists in the tech industry has since turned into a five-alarm klaxon.
The above post sounds pretty “conspiratorial” and fearful at first but when you start adding up the doxing, social media and advertising attacks along with the vacuous hive mentality of the leftists and techies then it really isn’t far-fetched.
There isn’t yet a lot out there raging in MSM on this tax change except from the frothing mouths of the anti-Trump attorney generals from New York and New Jersey but one can bet something is brewing here. The question is — WHY NOW? They would not have focused the daggers on this if there weren’t more from the hive on this problem.
Take for instance this article found from Non-Profit Quarterly on the subject titled “Treasury Weakens Donor Disclosure Requirements for Some Nonprofits”. This was an opinion piece written in June 2018 by Michael Wyland. He is a partner at Sumption & Wyland which has been involved training non-profit organizations since 1990 and a prolific author on the topic.
The Wall Street Journal article they cited, begins its opinion piece with “Presidents swear an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution,” and that includes guarding against restrictions on political speech. So congratulations to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter for advancing that cause on the controversial issue of donor privacy.”
“…three key benefits of the move: the IRS doesn’t use the Schedule B information from non-charitable groups as part of tax enforcement; the risk of inadvertent or intentional disclosure of confidential return information is eliminated if the information is not reported; and the policy change will reduce administrative costs for both affected filers and the IRS.
The change affects more than 300,000 labor unions, chambers of commerce, recreation clubs, black lung benefit trusts, and other nonprofit organizations that do not offer donors the benefit of donation deductibility.
No it doesn’t…not if you are correctly labeled under the section and reading their requirements. This is why I added the section definitions above.
However, it’s an open secret that the intent is to aid in concealing the donors to 501(c)4 social welfare groups often involved in significant political activity, sometimes referred to as “dark money” groups.
So far the only ones I am aware of using dark money are millennials who have transactions they want to hide, criminal gangs, and crypto currency promoters aka tech savvy groups. Not the average (c)4 users unless they hire the others like maybe Planned Parenthood or Open Society.
In addition to further shrouding the identities of donors from the IRS, the rule change also makes it more difficult for states seeking to regulate political expenditures on elections held within their borders.
Well that has been a beef of mine all along — state election agencies are not using FEC information in a coordinated effort to safeguard their elections. They should have easier access to FEC information in order to get specific confidential donor information not available to John or Joan Public. Why does there need to be a court case against IRS on this?
The WSJ editorial notes that the decision from the Trump administration (overturning a regulation written during the Nixon administration) could easily be reinstituted by a subsequent presidential administration and advises Congress to quickly pass legislation to embed the regulation in statute.
And there is the specific anti-Trump gigging. And a backhanded dig against Republicans who came roaring into session in 2017 and did several regulation reversals but did not keep up the momentum.
Proponents of nonprofit donor disclosure (and more rather than less openness in government) might be at least as interested in opposing, or at least delaying, any such legislative effort until the outcome of the midterm elections determines which political party controls Congress in 2019.
Well gee… that sounds almost like a cryptic marching order from some shadow government member to Democrat congressional members … don’t you think?
WHY NOW? Pretty simple in one way. That rabid AG is working a dozen or more investigations into Trump, his family, his businesses, and the foundation that Trump was forced to close. She is throwing as much mud as possible up on the wall hoping that some of it sticks. Her court system is going into overdrive trying to keep up with her idiocy.
She wants that gold jewel-encrusted pin on her shoulder that says — “I took down a sitting president that my party and my socialist ideology have targeted. I will be running for the Socialist Party USA President position in 2024 after I destroy the Trumps.”
Foundations like the Clintons, Fords, Obamas, Pelosis, Gates, Trump, Open Society, and others have operated for a very long time without accountability or transparency — simply because of their name identity. There wouldn’t be so many leftist/liberal/progressive foundations and groups under 501(c) if it were not so. State and federal protections for these people that allow them to get away with hiding their activities are what I most object to on the Section 501(c) not the smaller percentage of honest groups that need the exemption.