Investigate IRS Harassment of Tea Party Groups
For more than a century, our tax laws have recognized that such voluntary associations – non-profits, we call them today – should not be taxed, because their proceeds are devoted entirely to improve our communities through education, advocacy, and civic action. Section 501 of the Internal Revenue code recognizes them today, and civic groups like Move.org, the League of Conservation Voters, the ACLU, the National Rifle Association and various taxpayer groups have always been included in this definition.
We don’t apply a political test to these civic groups – we recognize the fundamental right of Americans to organize and to pool their resources to promote whatever causes they believe in – left or right. Indeed, whatever their political persuasion, these civic groups perform an absolutely indispensible role in our democracy by raising public awareness, defining issues, educating voters, promoting reforms, holding officials accountable and petitioning their government to redress grievances. Abolition, Women’s Suffrage, the Civil Rights movement – all would have been impossible without them.