IRS agents right to protect us from abuses
In your July 3 editorial entitled, “IRS needs to admit its actions in scandal are wrong,” you stated “that participants in harassing organizations based on their political ideals do not seem to recognize they did anything wrong.”
I am of the opinion that you are condemning the IRS agents for doing exactly what the law requires them to do.
IRS policy concerning tax exempt status for charities requires full disclosure of ties to political organizations, further “according to IRS regulations, any agency receiving non-profit status is required to provide public access to what is called a “public disclosure” folder, which includes the initial application form, any correspondence to and from the IRS regarding that application, and the final determination letter granting non-profit status.”
In an article published in USA Today July 3, 2013, Attorney John E. Christopher of The Cincinnati Law Firm of Manley Burke stated, “It’s part of the rules of the game. … If you get a non-profit exemption, you need to play ball with the public disclosure rules,” Christopher said. “After all, the public is helping finance the group with the tax exemption in the first place.”
His words are a response to the fact that some conservative groups such as Jobs and Progress Fund (formerly Ohio First for a Better Government), Protect Your Vote Ohio, and the Faith and Freedom Coalition of Ohio, shared resources up to and including the director David Langton who is widely recognized throughout the state for his efforts to promote conservative agendas including the protect your Ohio vote, the mission of which was to defeat issue 2 which would have established a citizens committee to redraw congressional districts.
Beyond sharing the director, these conservative organizations also shared office space, office resources, and are housed in the same location in West Chester.
Claiming tax-exempt status to promote political agendas is not the intent of the law. In fact, it is a violation of it. The IRS is right to target all groups regardless of political persuasion in order to ensure that the people are protected from abuse.