Joel Pett by Joel Pett

Joel PettNo Zoom

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  1. dtroutma

    dtroutma GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago


  2. mikefive

    mikefive said, over 3 years ago

    “…and falsely applying for exempt status as a “Social Welfare Organization”!”

    I’m not quite sure where the concept that 501c4 organizations could not participate in political activity came from.

    From IRS Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization:
    “However, if you submit proof that your organization is organized exclusively to promote social welfare, it can obtain exemption even if it participates legally in some political activity on behalf of or in opposition to candidates for public office.”

    It is incumbent on the IRS to prove that the organization is not for social welfare, and I think that can be only be proven after the group is organized and the exemption given. Then, the exemption can be revoked. What the IRS was doing was denying exemption for political reasons.

    I digress here from the 501c4 topic for a little humor. From the same publication listed above:

    Non-exemption for terrorist organizations.
    An organization that is identified or designated as a terrorist organization within the meaning of section 501(p)(2) is not eligible to apply for recognition of exemption.

    Does the IRS really think that a terrorist organization is going to apply for a tax exemption?

  3. furnituremaker

    furnituremaker said, over 3 years ago

    wife and I both drawing SS, and yes, we paid taxes (income), plus sales tax, gasoline tax, property tax, etc…

  4. mtretter

    mtretter GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    You mean like A.C.O.R.N?

  5. Bruce4671

    Bruce4671 said, over 3 years ago

    read this…..please

  6. Bruce4671

    Bruce4671 said, over 3 years ago

    Clark, in case you have not noticed, Obama is following the same plan that Bush left in place on much of his policy.

  7. mikefive

    mikefive said, over 3 years ago

    “Mr. Pett is the FIRST one to get it.”

    Morty, that is one of the more far fetched items I’ve seen you come up with, and you have come up with many.

  8. Newenglandah

    Newenglandah said, over 3 years ago

    Because the Republicans in the Senate blocked Obama’s appointment to replace the Bush appointee.

  9. narrowminded

    narrowminded said, over 3 years ago

    It will soon become illegal to try to pay a little tax as possible. The IRS will simply tell us. Private property rights are going away, get used to it.

  10. ronald rini

    ronald rini said, over 3 years ago

    I agree you see the obama family going on ten million dollar trip. You see people poping out kid to get on welfare.You see people coming into the country poping out kids so they can get on welfare. And here we are paying city ,state federal, medicare , SS,county taxes or sales tax. You see business moving out to a place where taxes and regulation are lower. Sorry but having to work till the end of april to pay taxes and obama want to add 5 more day to this, The repules cans are right get rid of spending is the only way to get out of debt.

  11. Quipss

    Quipss said, over 3 years ago

    The reality is I can see the IRS scandal easily playing out without any attempt at bias. If even a 4% difference in tax avoidance was true within the TEA party organization it would become an immensely profitable endeavor to investigate them

  12. Radish

    Radish GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    @ Ronald Rini
    Why don’t you demand that women on welfare get abortions until they can afford children on their own?

  13. Ajax 4Hire

    Ajax 4Hire said, over 3 years ago

    When the Federal Government comes to tap your phones, monitor your speech, search your house, audit your income, tax your every purchase or action, will you then want the Tea Party to help defend your Constitutional Rights?

    I though so.

  14. Radish

    Radish GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    What are “social welfare” organizations? The tax code defines them as “civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.” Note the word “exclusively.” Over the years, the I.R.S. has issued rules saying that things like a retirement plan for voluntary firefighters, or an organization devoted to providing free parking in a downtown business district, could qualify.

    That section of the law, by the way, is Section 501©(4). Normally, I would not burden you with such a number, but in this area it is hard to figure out what is going on without a scorecard. That section is next to, but distinctly different from, Section 501©(3), which defines charitable organizations. Both groups are tax exempt — meaning that under normal circumstances they do not owe income tax on profits from investments — but only the 501©(3) organizations can receive tax-deductible contributions.

    The law used to be silent on whether charities could have anything to do with politics. But that changed in 1954, when Senator Johnson, facing a primary challenge from a conservative Democrat with substantial Catholic support, inserted into a pending tax bill a provision “denying tax-exempt status to not only those people who influence legislation but also to those who intervene in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for any public office,” as he put it in a brief Senate speech. The provision was added without any real debate.

    Six years later, in 1960, the I.R.S. adopted regulations extending the political prohibition to Section 501©(4) organizations, but with a caveat. Social welfare organizations could intervene in politics as long as the organization’s “primary” purpose was social welfare. The idea was that it was perfectly acceptable for a local organization supporting, say, renovation of a downtown to participate in a campaign for a referendum to impose a tax for that purpose.

    It was not clear what “primary” meant, but as Donald B. Tobin, an Ohio State University law professor, wrote in 2011, “it is certainly less than the statutory term ‘exclusively.’ ”

    In practice, none of that made any real difference for decades. There was no need for a political group to maintain it was something else. That changed after the 2001 law required normal political committees — covered under Section 527, which allows them to avoid paying taxes on contributions they receive — to disclose their donors. And it became more important when the Supreme Court, in the Citizens United case, cleared the way for corporations to spend unlimited amounts on elections.

    By last year’s presidential election, dozens of such “social welfare” organizations were trying to influence elections. The way they saw it, advertising to promote issues was not political, and as long as an advertisement did not actually back a candidate, it could qualify as a nonpolitical issue advertisement.

    Consider one ad placed by Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, the “social welfare” organization founded by Karl Rove, a former aide to President George W. Bush. The ad, which was shown in swing states last year, consisted of headlines plucked from publications painting President Obama’s economic policies as failures. It ended with the exhortation to “Tell President Obama, for real job growth cut the debt.”

    If that ad is not defined as political, then the “primary” purpose of all these groups is not political. And of course there were equally political “nonpolitical” ads placed by groups backing President Obama.

    There are precedents in election law for such a narrow definition of political, but Professor Tobin argues that the tax law actually defines political advocacy much more broadly, “using a facts and circumstances” test that such ads would fail.

    He also notes that while the tax law exempts Section 501©(3) charities and Section 527 political committees from gift tax rules, it offers no such exemption to Section 501©(4) social welfare organizations. If the I.R.S. took the position gift tax was owed, that would mean every contributor who gave more than $13,000 to such an organization would owe additional taxes, and the days of social welfare organizations as political organizations would come to an end.

    In spring 2011, there were reports that the I.R.S. was examining some taxpayers’ returns for failure to pay the gift tax on such contributions. A group of Republican senators cried foul and the service soon said it was dropping such audits.

    There is one other potential tax issue involved here. While donations to Section 501©(4) social welfare organizations are not charitable contributions, and thus not deductible, it is not nearly as clear that companies seeking to influence elections cannot deduct such contributions as ordinary and necessary business expenses. Are any doing that? Is the I.R.S. challenging them? We do not know. Tax returns, and audits, are not public information.

    As the political furor grew this week, President Obama forced out the acting commissioner of the I.R.S. Does anyone think his successor, or his successor’s successor, will have any appetite for trying to enforce the tax law’s restrictions on political activities by so-called social welfare groups? After all, any political group can contend that an audit reflects partisan politics.

    It would be much better if someone other than the tax collection agency had to decide whether to start investigations, but that is not what the law now says.

    At the beginning of this column, I asked whether political groups were flouting the law. The answer is, probably yes. But with the I.R.S. afraid to even try to enforce the law, the chances seem slim that any such case will ever go to court.

  15. cjsm

    cjsm GoComics PRO Member said, over 3 years ago

    There should be NO tax exempt organizations if we are truly wishing for a free market economy. Not social welfare orgs, not political parties or contributions, not religious organizations, not charitable orgs.

    If you believe that it is reasonable that there be some tax exemptions for these (and possibly other) entities, then get off the free market wagon. And the Tea Party is just as hypocritical as any other “free market” advocate who doesn’t want to pay any tax but put the burden on other people who do contribute to our society.

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