Thursday, November 25, 2010

IRS Targeting Pro-Israel Groups?

Journolista Ben Smith over at the Politico has an interesting story on how elements of the IRS are apparently targeting pro-Israel the point where one of them is taking the IRS to court.

A Pennsylvania Jewish group named Z-Street filed the suit against the the Internal Revenue Service claiming the agency is targeting pro-Israel groups.

they introduced a letter in federal court from an IRS agent to another, unnamed organization that tax experts said was likely outside the usual or appropriate scope of an IRS inquiry.

"Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?" IRS agent Tracy Dornette wrote the organization, according to this week's court filing, as part of its consideration of the organizations application for tax exempt status.

"Describe your organization's religious belief system toward the land of Israel."

Z Street testified that a different IRS agent reviewing its own application for tax exempt status told them that the IRS is "carefully scrutinizing organizations that are in any way connected with Israel" and that "a special unit" is determining whether its activities "contradict the Administration's public policies.'"

The IRS has quite a bit of subjective leeway when it comes to approving or denying tax exempt status,merely by stating that a group works against "established public policy."

Given who's currently in the White House, it would hardly be a surprise to find that the IRS has begun applying this policy to pro-Israel groups seeking 501(c)3 staus.

By law, such groups can't advocate for political positions, but I doubt we'd see similar scrutiny for CAIR, J Street, or the NAACP, all of whom are profoundly political in their advocacy but align closely with President Obama's views.

I hope the easily duped Jews that voted for Obama and continue to observe the quaint ritual of lockstep support for the Democrats will take note of this.

Full disclosure..Z Street co-founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus, who is quoted in the piece is a friend and hardly the sort of hysteric given to seeing anti-Semitism behind every bush.

Although, when you look at the comments section on this article, you'll find that something like this certainly brings them out from under their rocks.

please helps me write more gooder!


Shtuey said...

Unfortunately, when mentioning that the US filed a motion to dismiss on technical grounds, the feds did not at any point in their response claim the Z Street allegations were false. The government is not denying the charges. Instead they are attempting to hide behind sovereign immunity which, in a case of constitutional violations (Z Street is arguing that its first amendment rights are being violated, which is the basis of the complaint) the government cannot do.

As Jerome Marcus wrote in the Z Street response to the motion, the Bill of Rights applies the federal government all the time...which is after all the whole point of having a Bill of Rights in the first place.

There are links and a summary here:

Anonymous said...

It offends me that a "tax exempt" organization exists. Are we or are we not a country that believes in equal treatment under the law? Every tax exempt organization increases taxes for all of us unlucky enough to not qualify for tax exemption. Let's end it. If you want to give to a charity then do so after you pay taxes. If a charity wants to do good things how would a tax libaility harm them? That is they are putting all the donations towards those good things so no taxes are due.

Freedom Fighter said...

Anonymous, the idea of the tax exemption is to encourage donations by allowing donors to deduct the taxes from their income.

BTW, the deductions don't 'increase' your taxes, since your taxes are computed individually at a statutory rate, not as a group with everyone else's.

I'm fine with ending 501 c3 tax deductions provided they're ended for everybody.

Obviously that's not what the Obama Administration has in mind.

Freedom Fighter said...

Of course they're not denying the charges, Shtuey.

What they're denying is that Z Street has a right to question their diktats.

Rosey said...

Does anyone at this point have any doubts that Bam is a Jew hater? As a Jew I'm appalled at his actions and way of thinking. I'm even more appalled that any Jew could have voted for him after reading his resume. Muslim appeaser, Jew hater. It couldn't be anymore obvious. Elections have consequences. Far reaching, long lasting and sometimes irreversible, consequences.

yzernik said...

The non-partisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights just released a report on the racists at the DOJ.

They should look at the IRS when they finish investigating the DOJ. These Progressives abuse their power at every level.