To the editor:
The real scandal at the Internal Revenue Service is how did any tea party or so-called “patriot” organizations ever receive tax-exempt status? The definition by the IRS of a 501c(4) is a “social welfare organization.”
These organizations can be involved in politics, but it cannot be their primary purpose. So, why shouldn’t all of the tea party groups who have received tax-exempt status be required to prove that is what they are doing? I don’t know one tea party group that is involved in anything besides pushing their extremist right-wing agenda.
On the average, any organization applying for this status has to wait a year for approval. If you have about 70,000 applications sitting in an office in Cincinnati and 200 IRS employees are going through them and they find that at least half of them don’t qualify because their intent is primarily political and most of those are tea party groups, what would you do to make the job easier? It’s like if every time you got a bag of M&Ms the brown ones tasted awful.
So, every time you get a bag of M&Ms you sort out the brown ones. Seems perfectly logical to me. I say, go ahead and give them their tax-exempt status, then after three to five years, audit every one of them.
If they lied on their application, make them pay up. If it was egregious enough, some of them will need to go jail for fraud. Seems to me the IRS was just doing its job. I commend them for trying their best to not let tax cheats get away with anything.