“Nonprofit” Does Not Mean “No Money”
Recent news reports claimed that the IRS targeted extra scrutiny to conservative groups applying for nonprofit tax exemptions. It was much ado about nothing. But it’s time to clarify nonprofits’ legal status and their social roles in our culture.
The Internal Revenue Service’s regulation of nonprofit organizations was a major topic in the news recently, and that’s quite unusual. Apparently, an IRS manager instructed some of his staff people to pay particular attention to tax exemption applications from groups with politically-related words in their names, such as “tea party”, “patriot”, and “progressive”, to be sure that they were genuine. Yes, folks. It worked both ways. Republicans in Congress were enraged about the ghastly “Obama scandal”.
Before that, for more than a year, teapartiers and other conservatives had jumped up and down, screeching and wailing about how much they hate that horrible “Kenyan-Nazi-Marxist-socialist-dictator-Muslim-terrorist pal”, Barack Hussein Obama. They battled for camera time to see who could post the most outrageous insults about the President of the United States of America. And then, suddenly, they all applied for tax exempt status for their “nonpartisan, non-political, social welfare organizations”. Uh huh.
“Nonprofit” doesn’t just mean that you’re not making money. An organization is not “nonprofit” just because its managers say so. Thousands of state and federal regulations control the business of nonprofit corporations. These are just the basics.
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