IRS Turns Down 501(c)(4) Applications of Three Groups

July 19, 2011; Source: New York Times | The nation’s intrepid reporter dedicated to covering the nonprofit sector, Stephanie Strom of the New York Times, wrote this week that the Internal Revenue Service earlier this year rejected the tax exemption applications of three potential 501(c)(4) organizations. The IRS letters tell the applicants that, “You are not operated primarily to promote social welfare because your activities are primarily for the benefit of a political party and a private group of individuals, rather than the community as a whole . . . Accordingly, you do not qualify for exemption.”

Typical for IRS actions, the letters are so heavily redacted that information about the names of the organizations, the political parties they might have been associated with, or any other facts and circumstances is missing.  So, we ask NPQ Newswire readers, do you know of any putative 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations that might have had their applications booted by the IRS?  Let us know if you think you know. 

There is a good reason to ask. Without specific knowledge of the circumstances involved, it is impossible to know whether these IRS rejections were simply run-of-the-mill, pro forma actions or evidence of a new or different attentiveness to the post-Citizens United dynamics of newly energized (c)(4)s.—Rick Cohen