Pat Caldwell on how the IRS may have just accidentally blocked - TopicsExpress


Pat Caldwell on how the IRS may have just accidentally blocked oversight of dark money: ongress rushed to pass a 1,524-page bill last week that funds government agencies for 2014. The bill—which President Obama signed into law last Friday—is full of minor measures that were slipped in to appease various members, but one small section could upend the Internal Revenue Services ability to regulate political organizations hoping to become nonprofits. Tacked on as a symbolic effort to mollify conservatives anti-IRS mania, the text is so overly vague that it could mean the dissolution of long-standing rules. Or nothing at all. No ones really sure. Its really hard to know if this is clever or just abysmal drafting, says Frances Hill, a tax law professor at the University of Miami School of Law. Marcus Owens, who spent a decade as director of the IRSs Exempt Organizations Division, is worried, though. Just taken on its face, he says, it would make it very difficult for all forms of tax-exempt organizations [to be stopped] from engaging in explicit political activity, excessive lobbying activity, [and] commercial speech. The provision doesnt really make much sense as its written, says Donald Tobin, a tax law professor at Ohio State Universitys law school, so its hard to tell what it means. -Erika
Posted on: Thu, 23 Jan 2014 01:00:00 +0000

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