Thursday, May 16, 2013

GOP Whine

      The specter of the IRS is certainly foreboding and has been used in the past, most notably by the GOP under Nixon to threaten “enemies.”  However, the GOP does protest too much.  The issue is not whether the TEA party was unduly mistreated, but that liberal organizations apparently got considerable less scrutiny than they should have received.
      We have listened to several TEA Party members in interviews explain their treatment and thought, “Yah, that is nothing out of the ordinary.”  Most organizations that apply for tax exempt status have similar experience.
      We just went through that identical ordeal to obtain a 501c3 exemption for the non-profit organization Bike Walk Tennessee.  We had a ¼-inch thick book to complete, providing ALL details of our corporation and listing ALL directors and people who could possibly benefit from our non-profit status.  We had to submit three-year business plans and budgets, which was a major reach since we had little idea what our org could achieve and several of the directors were unrealistically optimistic.
      Our first submission was rejected with a three-page letter from the reviewer asking for all kinds of additional information.   We complied and eventually got our 501c3 exemptions.  The whole process took us TWO YEARS!
      None of that was a surprise.  We were warned in advance that the IRS was backed up and our app could take up to 18 months.
     No doubt obtaining a c3 exemption, in our case, is more difficult than obtaining a c4, the political orgs were attempting, but it was common knowledge that 527 orgs were trying to sidestep government regulations on disclosures.
      The bottom line was – did this delay limit our ability to conduct business as a c3?  NO!  Just as it did little harm to the TEA Party, but only continues their proclivity to distort the facts.

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