IRS hassles conservative groups over tax exempt status

By Alan Fram March 2, 2012 6:50 am

WASHINGTON (AP) -The Internal Revenue Service is embroiled in battles with tea party and other conservative groups who claim the government is purposely frustrating their attempts to gain tax-exempt status.

The fight features instances in which the IRS has asked for voluminous details about the groups’ postings on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, information on donors and key members’ relatives, and copies of all literature they have distributed to their members, according to documents provided by some organizations.

While refusing to comment on specific cases, IRS officials said they are merely trying to gather enough information to decide whether groups qualify for the tax exemption. Most organizations are applying under section 501 (c) (4) of the federal tax code, which grants tax-exempt status to certain groups as long as they are not primarily involved in activity that could influence an election, a determination that is up to the IRS.  Read More…

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