Coats Notes: Give Nonprofits Relief from IRS Delays

Senator Dan Coats
2014-08-08 17:51:11
A message from Senator Dan Coats <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/quorum_coats-iq/coats_ topbanner.jpg> Dear Friend, Thank you for signing up to receive my email newsletter. These newsletters will cover a variety of topics, including events happening in Indiana, legislation being considered in Congress, and my perspective on current issues. My hope is to keep you updated and informed on how issues in Washington may impact Hoosiers. I welcome your feedback. Thanks for reading, Dan Coats _____ Give Nonprofits Relief from IRS Delays A flurry of scandal has recently surrounded the Internal Revenue Service. Over the past few months, we have learned about missing emails from IRS employees and revelations of clear bias and hostility by a top IRS official toward organizations with certain political beliefs. This all comes on the heels of the IRS targeting conservative groups - including at least one in Indiana - for extra scrutiny based on their political leanings when the groups applied for status as 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations. Given the power this agency possesses over the lives of American citizens, it is imperative that the IRS be apolitical, above partisanship and completely compliant with the law. I have called for a special prosecutor with subpoena power to investigate the IRS, as well as criminal penalties for IRS employees who violate the constitutional free speech rights of Americans. As congressional investigations continue into recent IRS actions, Congress needs to take additional steps to restore the trust of the American people in their government and provide a check on this powerful agency. As one important step, I recently introduced legislation that would provide a much-needed avenue of relief for groups whose applications for tax-exempt status are languishing at the IRS. Last year, a scathing Inspector General report revealed that many groups seeking 501(c)(4) status had waited three years or more for a decision from the IRS, while being subjected to intrusive interrogation about donors, political beliefs and positions on policy issues. Currently, groups seeking 501(c)(3) status as a charity or foundation can ask the Tax Court for tax-exempt status through a declaratory judgment if the IRS delays acting on their applications for nine months or more. However, this right is not extended to other groups like those seeking status as a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. Under current law, 501(c)(4) groups must wait until the IRS makes an adverse decision, and then the group must start paying taxes as a for-profit corporation before it can take the IRS to court. There is no recourse at all if the IRS simply refuses to act on their application, as it did during the recent targeting scandal. Supported by Americans for Tax Reform and the Cost of Government Center, my proposal - called the ACCESS Act - would extend the Tax Court relief currently available in the 501(c)(3) context to groups seeking 501(c)(4) status or other tax-exempt status. This commonsense reform, based on a recommendation from the nonpartisan National Taxpayer Advocate, would give all groups asking for exempt status equal access to a neutral referee when they face unconscionable delays from the IRS. If there is one government agency that must avoid engaging in anything that can even remotely be deemed political, it is the IRS. This agency has the power to destroy your reputation, your finances and your business. American taxpayers deserve the full truth of what happened at the IRS, as well as the assurance that these abuses will never happen again. My proposal will provide a meaningful check on the IRS and allow groups to bypass IRS intransigence. Congress can and should take this important step toward reforming the IRS. Coats in the News Dan Coats: New Harmony Marks 200th Anniversary <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15756.16423359.5540451.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww.kokom otribune.com%2fcolumns%2fx1927897103%2fDAN-COATS-New-Harmony-marks-its-2 00th-anniversary> Coats Named "2014 Hero of Main Street" <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15756.16423359.5540451.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww.xrbra dio.com%2fcoats-named-2014-hero-of-main-street%2f> Indiana Lawmakers Ask About Immigration Children <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15756.16423359.5540451.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww.wsbt. com%2fnews%2flocal%2findiana-lawmakers-ask-about-immigrant-children%2f27 269974> Asian Carp Threatens Environment <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15756.16423359.5540451.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww.mywab ashvalley.com%2fstory%2fd%2fstory%2fasian-carp-threatens-enivroment%2f32 351%2fKksSgcbFvUKcHIStZKFkMQ> Stay Connected <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15756.16423359.5540451.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww.faceb ook.com%2fpages%2fSenator-Dan-Coats%2f180671148633644> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15756.16423359.5540451.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2ftwitter.c om%2fSenDanCoats> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15756.16423359.5540451.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww.youtu be.com%2fSenatorCoats> Coats with Hoosiers <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15756.16423359.5540451.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fcoats.sen ate.gov%2fnewsroom%2fphotos%2fjune-visits-with-hoosiers> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15756.16423359.5540451.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fcoats.sen ate.gov%2fnewsroom%2fphotos%2fcoats-tours-countrymark-refinery> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx s-iq&crop=15756.16423359.5540451.7189397&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fcoats.sen ate.gov%2fnewsroom%2fphotos%2fcoats-tours-posey-county-flood-damage> <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/quorum_coats-iq/enews2 080814.jpg> It was great to see former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett at the Indiana Black Expo in Indianapolis. <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/quorum_coats-iq/enews3 080814.jpg> Purdue football legend Leroy Keyes also attended the Indiana Black Expo and graciously let me interrupt him for a photo. <outreach.senate.gov/iqextranet/Customers/quorum_coats-iq/072214 RyanCarrEnews.jpg> Ryan Carr of Indianapolis stopped by my office to introduce me to his family. 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A message from Senator Dan Coats  

Dear Friend,

Thank you for signing up to receive my email newsletter. These newsletters will cover a variety of topics, including events happening in Indiana, legislation being considered in Congress, and my perspective on current issues. My hope is to keep you updated and informed on how issues in Washington may impact Hoosiers. I welcome your feedback.

Thanks for reading,
Dan Coats


  Give Nonprofits Relief from IRS Delays

A flurry of scandal has recently surrounded the Internal Revenue Service.

Over the past few months, we have learned about missing emails from IRS employees and revelations of clear bias and hostility by a top IRS official toward organizations with certain political beliefs.

This all comes on the heels of the IRS targeting conservative groups – including at least one in Indiana – for extra scrutiny based on their political leanings when the groups applied for status as 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations.
 
Given the power this agency possesses over the lives of American citizens, it is imperative that the IRS be apolitical, above partisanship and completely compliant with the law. 

I have called for a special prosecutor with subpoena power to investigate the IRS, as well as criminal penalties for IRS employees who violate the constitutional free speech rights of Americans. 

As congressional investigations continue into recent IRS actions, Congress needs to take additional steps to restore the trust of the American people in their government and provide a check on this powerful agency.

As one important step, I recently introduced legislation that would provide a much-needed avenue of relief for groups whose applications for tax-exempt status are languishing at the IRS.

Last year, a scathing Inspector General report revealed that many groups seeking 501(c)(4) status had waited three years or more for a decision from the IRS, while being subjected to intrusive interrogation about donors, political beliefs and positions on policy issues.

Currently, groups seeking 501(c)(3) status as a charity or foundation can ask the Tax Court for tax-exempt status through a declaratory judgment if the IRS delays acting on their applications for nine months or more. 

However, this right is not extended to other groups like those seeking status as a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) social welfare organization.

Under current law, 501(c)(4) groups must wait until the IRS makes an adverse decision, and then the group must start paying taxes as a for-profit corporation before it can take the IRS to court. 

There is no recourse at all if the IRS simply refuses to act on their application, as it did during the recent targeting scandal.

Supported by Americans for Tax Reform and the Cost of Government Center, my proposal – called the ACCESS Act – would extend the Tax Court relief currently available in the 501(c)(3) context to groups seeking 501(c)(4) status or other tax-exempt status.

This commonsense reform, based on a recommendation from the nonpartisan National Taxpayer Advocate, would give all groups asking for exempt status equal access to a neutral referee when they face unconscionable delays from the IRS.

If there is one government agency that must avoid engaging in anything that can even remotely be deemed political, it is the IRS. This agency has the power to destroy your reputation, your finances and your business.

American taxpayers deserve the full truth of what happened at the IRS, as well as the assurance that these abuses will never happen again. 

My proposal will provide a meaningful check on the IRS and allow groups to bypass IRS intransigence. Congress can and should take this important step toward reforming the IRS.

Coats in the News

Dan Coats: New Harmony Marks 200th Anniversary  

Coats Named "2014 Hero of Main Street"  

Indiana Lawmakers Ask About Immigration Children  

Asian Carp Threatens Environment

  Stay Connected

      

Coats with Hoosiers

 

It was great to see former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett at the Indiana Black Expo in Indianapolis.


  

Purdue football legend Leroy Keyes also attended the Indiana Black Expo and graciously let me interrupt him for a photo. 


 

Ryan Carr of Indianapolis stopped by my office to introduce me to his family.

   To unsubscribe please
Click Here