Arrow-right Camera
Opinion

Understand IRS code

Referencing the June 3 letter from Arthur Greenfield: In the letter’s first paragraph, he asserts that only “purely political right-wing organizations claim tax exemptions as so-called ‘charities.’ ” This assertion is patently false and misleads the public.

Section 501(c) establishes tax exemptions for all nonprofits. Proper charities claim tax exemption under Section 501(c)3, including religious organizations. Political organizations of any and all persuasions claim to be nonprofits within the provisions of Section 501(c)4 as either a civic league or social welfare organization, and not as a charity.

Why a 501(c)4? Primarily, political organizations file this tax-exempt status to prevent publishing donor lists. If they are organized as a tax-exempt nonprofit under Section 527, they must report their donors.

The current Internal Revenue Service donnybrook before Congress deals with selective “sequestering” by the IRS of Section 501(c)4 conservative group applicants from timely consideration and approval.

As for the thousands of pages of IRS regulations and “warped tax laws” that have brought on the latest brouhaha? That’s another elephant in the room for another day.

Michael Robertson

Mead


 

Top stories in Opinion

Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.