The IRS Scandal: Who Gets Tax-Exempt Status?

Friday, May 17, 2013

IRS Headquarters in Washington, DC (Flickr user Cliff)

The IRS scandal continues to plague the Obama Administration. At a press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday, President Obama expressed his own outrage. "It’s inexcusable and Americans are right to be angry about it and I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS," he told reporters. 

In part because of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 2010 Citizens United case, applications for tax-exempt status have increased dramatically over the past few years, from 1,751 in 2009 to 3,357 in 2012. Kenneth Gross, election law expert at the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and former counsel to the Federal Election Commission, explains the qualifications for tax-exempt status, and the political benefits.


Kenneth Gross

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [3]


Your article failed to point out 1) the director terminated by Obama was not in charge when the abuses took place, and that 2) he was already scheduled to retire in June of this year. What else did you leave out? Great sound bite, sloppy reporting.

May. 18 2013 05:02 PM
Dawn from NH

I was also surprised to hear Ken Gross say it would be bad if they had released the names of donors, but they hadn't. Well, he needs to do more research next time. The names of the NOM donors were released by the IRS to HRC, and Joe Solmonese, who then became a co-chair for Obama's campaign. It should at least be mentioned--even if you don't care to believe it. The whole segment seemed to be another attempted cover-up for Obama, missing lots of info and saying, it's really not that bad, Obama can't really do anything wrong.... Please be real journalists and be agnostic and just cover the truth. Don't sugarcoat everything to protect Obama. He's a big boy, let his actions speak for themselves.

May. 17 2013 03:30 PM

When Ken Gross suggests that there is "no evidence" that the IRS wrongly disclosed the names of donors to some 501(c)(4) organizations.

We know for a fact, thanks to a 501(c)(3) organization known as ProPublica, that they published such information:

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal (the sort of columnist who is never featured on The Takeaway) analyzed the disclosure and the liklihood that it was a malicious act by persons within the IRS:

So, no. The IRS really did try to use its power to attack a political enemy; Mitt Romney. In the middle of a presidential election campaign.

May. 17 2013 09:35 AM

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