Is The IRS Intimidating Tea Party Groups?
A conservative legal group is accusing the IRS of trying to intimidate tea party groups:
(CNSNews.com) – A conservative civil liberties group accuses the Internal Revenue Service of attempting to “intimidate and silence” a number of tea party groups that have applied for tax-exempt status.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) says IRS requests for information about the groups included “probing questions” that violate the free speech and freedom of association rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.
“This appears to be a coordinated attempt to intimidate Tea Party organizations by demanding information that is outside the scope of legitimate inquiry and violates the First Amendment,” said Jay Sekulow, ACLJ’s chief counsel.
“These organizations have followed the law and applied for tax exempt status for their activities as Americans have done for decades. The problem here is the IRS has gone beyond legitimate inquiries and is demanding that these organizations answer questions that actually violate the First Amendment rights of our clients.”
This is the problem with the “non-profit” status in our tax code. A lot of excellent (and a lot of not-so-excellent) groups take advantage of it, but in a lot of ways the government uses the status as a way to bully these groups.
The “non-profit” status is a significant advantage, but it also means subjecting yourself to the sometimes politically-motivated scrutiny of the IRS.Tags: irs, tea party