Wednesday, July 17, 2013

501(c)(4) Mess Update: Hearings, Reports, and Bright Lines

IRSThe IRS 501(c)(4) application mess continues to percolate, although most media attention has moved elsewhere.  For those who want all the details, Paul Caron continues his comprehensive coverage at TaxProf Blog (The IRS Scandal, Day 69).  Here are some highlights:

Congressional Hearings Relating to the IRS (including non-501(c)(4) issues)

Reports

No word at this point on whether the Department of Justice will eventually generate a report (or indictments) based on its investigation, announced by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (from about the 22:45 mark to the 25:30 mark) on May 14th, after President Barack Obama personally addressed the IRS situation on May 13th.

Bright Lines

If there is any silver lining to this situation, it is the possibility that needed reform in this area may gain traction.  As fellow blogger John Colombo has already noted (and critiqued), The Bright Lines Project has been quietly working for more than four years to revise the definition of political campaign intervention in the federal tax laws.  In response to the IRS mess, it has now accelerated its public push for legislation and regulations to implement its proposals.  This push has already drawn public opposition from a senior fellow at the Center for Competitive Politics, indicating that The Bright Lines Project may in fact have some hope of changing the legal landscape for politically active tax-exempt organizations.  Stay tuned.

LHM

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/nonprofit/2013/07/501c4-mess-update-hearings-reports-and-bright-lines.html

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