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Old 05-11-2013, 12:22 PM   #1
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Default The IRS: In the news....

Well, the IRS will no doubt be in the news more and more over the next few years with the implementation of Obamacare...

But, they have started a little early...

http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/10/ca...inappropriate/

LMAO, Bush is even getting blamed for this.....

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Old 05-11-2013, 12:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

Where did it say in the article that Bush was being blamed? I missed it.

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Old 05-11-2013, 12:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

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Where did it say in the article that Bush was being blamed? I missed it.
It (the article, watch the video) didn't, Carney makes sure that you know that the guy in charge of this "separate entity" from the administration was appointed by the last administration....it was called sarcasm. hence the rim shot.


Why doesn't Carney just say......."it was inappropriate, not something the IRS should be doing, and we will definitely be looking into it..." and leave it at that? I just thought his wording was funny.

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Old 05-11-2013, 01:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

They do lots of funny things in the big leagues.

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Old 05-11-2013, 03:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

I hold a very radical view that the entire tax system of the OECD (and also that of many developing) countries is broken beyond repair, because it was never made sense in the first place. Taxing annual income (especially with its different tax brackets) is an inexplicably dumb idea in the context of the modern economy with its constantly fluctuating price levels and volatile macroeconomic variables. This puts both the government and the taxpayer at a severe disadvantage when it comes to long-term planning and investment due to the unpredictability of savings and income.

What the government should tax is not income but wealth - liquid savings and non-productive/non-earning assets like precious metals and unsold/undeveloped commercial real-estate. The marginal propensity to save is an increasing function of income and inversely proportional to the marginal propensity to consume. This means that the richer you are, the greater your savings will be as a percentage of your total income relative to your consumption. If wealth is taxed at small but fixed rate (say 2-3% annually) for everyone, the burden of tax revenues will automatically be allocated by each individual's net worth so consumption of poorer households will be less constrained by taxes thereby allowing them to save more. On the other hand, if the rich do not want to pay disproportionately high taxes because of their massive accumulated wealth, they can do so by investing a greater portion of their wealth back into the economy and this benefits everyone.

It's a much more fair and resilient system, particularly during periods of economic downturn when government expenditure has to pick up the slack for the slump in the private sector but is unable to do so because incomes are down across the board (but savings accrued from previous boom periods are not, thereby availing a much bigger pool of taxable funds) leading to lower revenues from taxes. The end result - the government has to choose between running a deficit by borrowing more money to kickstart the economy or endure the painful recession until things slowly start going back to normal.

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Old 05-11-2013, 04:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

By the way, income inequality is inversely correlated to investment and economic growth, so demonizing the 'moocher' class and hailing the great American 'social meritocracy' is not going to gain anything other than loyalty points on the scale of political idealism.

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Old 05-12-2013, 01:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

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Originally Posted by Fenrir View Post
I hold a very radical view that the entire tax system of the OECD (and also that of many developing) countries is broken beyond repair, because it was never made sense in the first place. Taxing annual income (especially with its different tax brackets) is an inexplicably dumb idea in the context of the modern economy with its constantly fluctuating price levels and volatile macroeconomic variables. This puts both the government and the taxpayer at a severe disadvantage when it comes to long-term planning and investment due to the unpredictability of savings and income.

What the government should tax is not income but wealth - liquid savings and non-productive/non-earning assets like precious metals and unsold/undeveloped commercial real-estate. The marginal propensity to save is an increasing function of income and inversely proportional to the marginal propensity to consume. This means that the richer you are, the greater your savings will be as a percentage of your total income relative to your consumption. If wealth is taxed at small but fixed rate (say 2-3% annually) for everyone, the burden of tax revenues will automatically be allocated by each individual's net worth so consumption of poorer households will be less constrained by taxes thereby allowing them to save more. On the other hand, if the rich do not want to pay disproportionately high taxes because of their massive accumulated wealth, they can do so by investing a greater portion of their wealth back into the economy and this benefits everyone.

It's a much more fair and resilient system, particularly during periods of economic downturn when government expenditure has to pick up the slack for the slump in the private sector but is unable to do so because incomes are down across the board (but savings accrued from previous boom periods are not, thereby availing a much bigger pool of taxable funds) leading to lower revenues from taxes. The end result - the government has to choose between running a deficit by borrowing more money to kickstart the economy or endure the painful recession until things slowly start going back to normal.
I can see the sense in that. Has it been tried?

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Old 05-12-2013, 01:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

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On the other hand, if the rich do not want to pay disproportionately high taxes because of their massive accumulated wealth, they can do so by investing a greater portion of their wealth back into the economy and this benefits everyone.
Or find ways to hide their wealth in other countries

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Old 05-12-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

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I can see the sense in that. Has it been tried?
Not that I am aware of, no.

EDIT: I just remembered that such a tax system was used in Japan in the late 19th century (on unproductive land) to great success. I'll try to find more examples when I have time and then post them in this thread.

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Old 05-12-2013, 01:43 PM   #10
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Or find ways to hide their wealth in other countries
That can be solved by imposing capital controls on inflows and outflows to common tax havens - kind of like what Chile and Malaysia did during the financial crises of the 1980s and 1990s. These corporate tax havens have little to offer in terms of returns or any credible investment value, so the rich mainly use them as a place to temporarily park their money to avoid taxation rather than as a source of long-term foreign direct investment or unilateral transfers.

The key legislative trick would be to enact regulations to create opportunity costs of capital transfers that are just marginally higher than the cost of keeping wealth within national borders (which is, to reiterate, not that high to begin with at 2-3%). The important thing to note here is that only non-productive non-earning assets are taxed, so the levy can be thought of as what is described in conventional finance as a liquidity premium, or the price of safety. So what the government is doing is basically saying - "look, you either start investing the money you have in our economy or we will start taxing all that hoarded wealth". Again, it is a self-balancing mechanism where the private sector either increases its economic participation, or increase its contribution to funding the public sector.

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Old 05-13-2013, 11:19 AM   #11
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

^Very interesting.

On a side note, WH Press Secretary has got to be one tough job. But Jay Carney just pisses me off so much. He's clearly an intelligent and talented guy, but I wish he would go somewhere else.

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Old 05-13-2013, 06:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

I'll probably be in the minority on this one, but I look at it this way:

Conservatives want the CIA, FBI, and so forth to focus on people with certain ethnic backgrounds because they feel those people have a higher propensity towards terror or crime.

Well, guess who has a higher propensity towards anti-tax rhetoric and tax dodging?

Profiling is only bad if you're the one getting profiled, I guess.

EDIT: This Bloomberg article is probably the most factual on the subject:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...ax-groups.html

Quote:
The Internal Revenue Service, under pressure to regulate political spending by nonprofit groups, now faces investigations into its scrutiny of some organizations seeking nonprofit status.



The IRS acknowledged yesterday that it gave extra scrutiny to groups that applied for nonprofit status if they had “tea party” or “patriot” in their name. Congressional Republicans and President Barack Obama’s administration called for probes into how that happened.




White House spokesman Jay Carney called the action ‘inappropriate’’ and said it should be “thoroughly investigated.” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, said he would hold a hearing. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, said the chamber would conduct an investigation.



Earlier yesterday, Lois Lerner, the IRS’s director of exempt organizations, said career employees singled out the groups for further examination based solely on their names, not their applications.



“They didn’t do it correctly,” Lerner said at a conference of tax lawyers in Washington. “We would like to apologize for that.”
At the same time, advocacy groups say the investigations shouldn’t stop the IRS from examining whether groups spending millions of dollars on elections, such as Crossroads GPS and Patriot Majority USA, should be able to claim nonprofit status and keep secret their contributors.
‘More Difficult’

“The IRS has not been rigorous enough in its enforcement of tax laws,” said Paul Ryan, a lawyer with the Campaign Legal Center in Washington. “This may make it more difficult but the IRS needs to pull on its grownup pants and do its job.”



Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said U.S. tax law prevents nonprofit groups from spending money on elections. He said he wants to know why the IRS is not enforcing that prohibition and why the agency gave extra scrutiny to applications from Tea Party groups.



“Both issues require investigation,” he said.



Lerner said the number of groups seeking nonprofit status more than doubled to 3,400 in 2012 from 1,500 in 2010. By being categorized as nonprofit groups under Section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. tax code, organizations don’t have to disclose their donors even when engaging in political activity.



In this case about 75 of the 300 groups singled out for scrutiny by IRS employees were added to the list solely because of their names, not the information they provided.
‘Appropriate’ Sensitivity

“They didn’t do this because there was any political bias going on,” Lerner said. “They didn’t have the appropriate level of sensitivity.”



Spending by groups that don’t identify their contributors has increased since the U.S. Supreme Court, in its 2010 Citizens United decision, removed limits on independent spending by corporations and labor unions. Nonprofit groups spent $1 billion in 2012 on campaigns, with more than two-thirds benefiting Republican candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign spending. That was triple the $300 million they spent in 2008.



“The IRS is apologizing for the wrong thing,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “It seemed reasonable to ask for more information from organizations that indicated they were political. It just shows how cowed they are on this entire issue, that they’re even apologizing just for doing the bare minimum of their job.”
CREW Lawsuit

CREW has sued the IRS and petitioned the agency to ban nonprofit organizations from political spending because it says the law requires such groups to be “operated exclusively” for social welfare activities. Lerner said that political activity just “can’t be their primary activity.”



Congressional Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, yesterday criticized the IRS action.



“Who is ultimately responsible for this travesty?” Boehner said. “What actions will the Obama administration take to hold them accountable?”



Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, a Tea Party favorite, yesterday told reporters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that he was “offended when any kind of government entity targets people for their political or religious beliefs.”



A national anti-tax Tea Party group rejected Lerner’s apology.
‘Deliberate Targeting’

“This deliberate targeting and harassment of Tea Party groups reaches a new low in illegal activity and overreach,” Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, said in an e-mailed statement.



Such criticism could make the IRS more reluctant to take action against the nonprofits, said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, a Washington-based advocacy group that supports stronger campaign finance laws.



“Many of those will try to use this particular instance of misconduct to make it harder to enforce tax laws in the future,” Gilbert said. “What they did was problematic and it could make them more cautious.”



Republican senators had already pressured the IRS to leave the Tea Party groups alone after reports last year that they had been sent intrusive questionnaires. IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told a House subcommittee in March 2012 that the agency wasn’t “targeting” particular groups.



“While I’m glad to see the IRS apologize for unfairly targeting conservative groups, this frankly isn’t enough,” said Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee who helped draft a letter to the IRS signed by 12 senators.



“We need to have ironclad guarantees from the IRS that it will adopt significant protocols to ensure this kind of harassment of groups that have a constitutional right to express their own views never happens again.”


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Old 05-13-2013, 09:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

I would have no problem if all non-profits were scrutinized in this way....hell the NFL is listed as a non-profit.


But the fact is....they aren't.

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Old 05-14-2013, 02:44 AM   #14
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I would have no problem if all non-profits were scrutinized in this way.
To be honest I wish all 501(c)4's were given heavy scrutiny. From my understanding they aren't supposed to be involved much in politics(endorsing candidates), they are only there for "social welfare". In my opinion anything that looks anything like involving themself with a political agenda should get their status revoked.

Basically I think if any of these 501(c)4's spend more then 50% on ads for any political issue(s), they should get their status revoked.


It seems like most of these so called "social welfare" ads are like: "<Candidate X> believes <issue y> is great. Call <candidate X> and tell him you are against <issue Y>". Basically it's not saying don't vote for Candidate X, but they might as well say that


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Old 05-14-2013, 04:09 PM   #15
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I would have no problem if all non-profits were scrutinized in this way....hell the NFL is listed as a non-profit.


But the fact is....they aren't.
Is the NFL actually listed as a non-profit? Because it is literally impossible for them to be a non-profit. Don't all the franchise owners make a bunch of money off of it?

I think another thing is these were all political entities popping up and that adds a whole 'nother layer of regulations...obviously just targeting them based on THE NAME is a pretty dumb way of going about profiling them, though. What about ones without "patriot" in the name or whatever?

EDIT: Funny you brought this up, maybe you saw the same headlines:

Quote:
Originally Posted by New Jersey Star-Ledger
The U.S. Senate is going after NFL's non-profit status, and it's about time



Here’s something you might not know: The NFL is a non-profit organization. That means it conducts itself as an enterprise which promotes a “common business interest and not to engage in a regular business of a kind ordinarily carried on for profit,” the Internal Revenue Code tells us.
Go ahead, we'll pause while you re-hinge your jaw before we proceed.
Because that means precisely what you think it means: While individual teams operate as for-profits, the league itself does not, and therefore enjoys federal tax-exempt status on its earnings. Sometimes, it even avoids taxes at the state and local level. For example, NFL employees aren’t charged tax when they stay at a hotel during the Super Bowl.
How much tax responsibility does the league dodge as a classified 501(c)(6)? Nobody can be certain, because the league prefers to give the appearance of reduced profitability by not disclosing its financial reports — we can only be certain that its revenue will grow from $10 billion this year to roughly $25 billion by 2028.
We do know, however, that this particular non-profit paid its top eight executives roughly $53.8 million in 2012, including $11.6 million for its current commissioner (Roger Goodell) and $8.5 million for its former commissioner (Paul Tagliabue). Chew on that as you re-read the IRS code cited in the first paragraph.
“This really flies under the radar,” says a young litigator from Vermont with sports/entertainment law expertise that we met the other day named Andrew Delaney. “You ask your average guy on the street what he knows about the NFL, and the conversation is likely to be about how the players are overpaid or how the players need to behave in public. Most people don't even know that the NFL is in any way a non-profit.”
Delaney’s interest in the subject first came up in 2010, when as a law student he wrote an article for the Arizona State Sports and Entertainment Law Journal. The paper was entitled “Taking a Sack: The NFL and its Undeserved Tax-Exempt Status,” and some of the facts contained therein weren’t known to most people – least of all the Senate Finance Committee.
But somehow, it found its way to the staff of notoriously thrifty Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, who cited many of the facts in Delaney’s paper to craft an amendment that he has attached to the Marketplace Fairness Act this past Thursday.
This is not a new quibble for Coburn – he’s also going after the PGA and NHL -- but now he's given it a name: It's called the Property Reducing Overexceptions for Sports Act (PRO Sports Act). And when it comes up for a vote, we could see the end of the NFL’s tax exempt status forever.
Coburn, who never has much of an agenda other than cutting waste wherever he detects it, thinks that “based on the publicly available information about the NFL and NHL alone, (revoking) non-profit status may generate at least $91 million of federal revenue every year.”
Maybe this doesn’t sound like much to you. But in this absurdist moment of sequestration -- when thousands of kids have already been dumped from Head Start, thousands of seniors have already lost their Meals on Wheels, 30,000 teachers are about to lose their jobs, and $28 billion has been cut in nondefense discretionary spending – let's allow the political bile to percolate for a while.
The problem, of course, is that the NFL has better lobbyists than the rest of us.
Delaney calls Roger’s Kingdom a “glorified tax shelter,” which is an ironic term, considering that NFL Ventures turned a pure profit of $1.295 billion in 2010 according to the documents given to Deadspin last year.
Sure, there are other billion-dollar companies that pay no taxes, but this is the one that squeezes us all personally on every level.
But let’s review one example why this cannot pass any smell test: The league collects $6 million in annual membership dues from each team, the teams write off those dues as "charitable donations," and the NFL in turn takes that $192 million and puts it into a stadium fund that gives owners interest-free loans as long as they secure public financing for their new or renovated stadiums. That means we’re left with two bills: Not only do taxpayers lose out on federal tax revenue, we pay for new stadiums that generate profits which enrich only the owners.
It’s interesting that it took this long for someone in Congress to put his foot down, even if it’s Dr. No, a dark-hearted legislator who never hesitates to pervert parliamentary procedure by blocking legislation that saves lives (the Zadroga bill, the Veterans Health Service Act, etc.) while waving the banner of anti-tax vigilance.
But as long as somebody does it.
So cheers to Coburn. And Delaney.
"I don't think losing its tax-exempt status would work an extraordinary hardship on the NFL,” Delaney believes. “Many of its subsidiaries are for-profit enterprises. So the biggest change will be that the membership assessments will not be tax write-offs for the individual teams. And the NFL would, at least theoretically, have to pay taxes on that income.”

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Old 05-14-2013, 05:41 PM   #16
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To be honest I wish all 501(c)4's were given heavy scrutiny. From my understanding they aren't supposed to be involved much in politics(endorsing candidates), they are only there for "social welfare". In my opinion anything that looks anything like involving themself with a political agenda should get their status revoked.

Basically I think if any of these 501(c)4's spend more then 50% on ads for any political issue(s), they should get their status revoked.


It seems like most of these so called "social welfare" ads are like: "<Candidate X> believes <issue y> is great. Call <candidate X> and tell him you are against <issue Y>". Basically it's not saying don't vote for Candidate X, but they might as well say that
I agree. That is the mistake that the IRS made. They targeted certain groups when they should have scrutinized all. It could also be the case though that the IRS did not the resources to investigate all of the groups (there were It is not unusual to find that a lot of these groups are filing for 501(c)4 "social welfare" organization status just to hide the donors who financed their political campaign activities. I am pretty sure that the IRS acted that way as a result of complaints by interest groups over the political activities of so called 501(c)4 organizations such as Crossroads GPS, American Families First, or the Center for Individual Freedom. As it turned out, though, in spite the scrutiny, all of the groups that applied got their 501(c)(4) status.

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Old 05-14-2013, 05:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

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Originally Posted by Baramos View Post
Is the NFL actually listed as a non-profit? Because it is literally impossible for them to be a non-profit. Don't all the franchise owners make a bunch of money off of it?

I think another thing is these were all political entities popping up and that adds a whole 'nother layer of regulations...obviously just targeting them based on THE NAME is a pretty dumb way of going about profiling them, though. What about ones without "patriot" in the name or whatever?

EDIT: Funny you brought this up, maybe you saw the same headlines:
I didn't read that particular article, but I did hear something about it on the news a year or so back....and I thought..."what the hell?"

It ended up not just being "patriot" it was also anyone group that had something about "the constitution", "taking America back", and a few other word, and word combinations that I can't remember.

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Old 05-14-2013, 06:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

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Originally Posted by Baramos View Post
I'll probably be in the minority on this one, but I look at it this way:

Conservatives want the CIA, FBI, and so forth to focus on people with certain ethnic backgrounds because they feel those people have a higher propensity towards terror or crime.

Well, guess who has a higher propensity towards anti-tax rhetoric and tax dodging?

Profiling is only bad if you're the one getting profiled, I guess.

EDIT: This Bloomberg article is probably the most factual on the subject:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...ax-groups.html
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly View Post
I didn't read that particular article, but I did hear something about it on the news a year or so back....and I thought..."what the hell?"

It ended up not just being "patriot" it was also anyone group that had something about "the constitution", "taking America back", and a few other word, and word combinations that I can't remember.
The National Football League (NFL) is considered a 501(c)(6) organization, which is a nonprofit, but under the category of a business league like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, or the Nuclear Energy Institute.

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Old 05-15-2013, 12:42 AM   #19
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The National Football League (NFL) is considered a 501(c)(6) organization, which is a nonprofit, but under the category of a business league like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, or the Nuclear Energy Institute.
You can't fix an economy where something as obviously for-profit as the NFL gets nonprofit status. What a mess this country is.

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Old 05-15-2013, 12:45 AM   #20
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

It seems people are missing a big part of this story. It wasn't just that the IRS unethically targeted groups they assumed were affiliated with the conservative party, it's that they also leaked those groups' confidential information to the liberal journalism group, ProPublica, for use as ammo during the 2012 elections. This is extremely illegal.

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Old 05-15-2013, 07:17 AM   #21
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

Does anyone really believe the White House has nothing to do with this?

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Old 05-15-2013, 11:16 AM   #22
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

Obama supporters.

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Old 05-15-2013, 11:24 AM   #23
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

Well, I have a feeling that this is going to get bigger than what we are seeing. It seems to mutate by the hour...lol

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Old 05-15-2013, 11:51 AM   #24
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You can't fix an economy where something as obviously for-profit as the NFL gets nonprofit status. What a mess this country is.
The individual teams are making a profit and are subject to taxes, but the league itself does not make a profit and is thus not subject to taxes.

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Old 05-15-2013, 01:03 PM   #25
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Default Re: The IRS: In the news....

Quote:
Originally Posted by dnno1 View Post
The individual teams are making a profit and are subject to taxes, but the league itself does not make a profit and is thus not subject to taxes.
Ummm.... Then where did the millions go that Rupert Murdock paid them for bringing the NFL Sunday Ticket to DirecTV?

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