Who knew what when? Whose heads should roll? Is Democracy itself in jeopardy? The recent turmoil surrounding the IRS’s Nonprofit Division has sparked no shortage of sensationalism or bravado-filled calls to action.
But is it possible that we’re failing to see the forest for the trees? Sure, an arm of the IRS used right-wing buzzwords to help identify organizations trying to take advantage of tax breaks meant to encourage advancements for the public good, rather than the causes supported by one particular political group or another. But might this “scandal” – which is all the rage in the current news cycle, yet sure to fade in time – speak more to the pervasive posturing in contemporary politics and the way the IRS is viewed than any sort of bias or conspiracy theory? There has been an explosion in the number of tea-party themed nonprofits in recent years, after all, and they’re not in the business of giving dolls to impoverished children or anything like that.
You might not come to the conclusion that this scandal is a bit overblown after reading the paper in the morning, but ask a few tax law experts and that’s the impression you’ll get. WalletHub did just that because while our main focus is on how consumers manage credit, tax policy is something that affects all of our wallets. And if the IRS is up to something fishy when it comes to how political nonprofit organizations are characterized for tax purposes, who’s to say they’re not crossing lines in other areas as well?
Please find our experts' takes on the following questions below:
- Are the actions of the IRS’s Nonprofit Division examples of a partisan witch hunt that's setting a disturbing precedent or a misguided attempt at efficiency?
- What, if any, laws do these actions violate?
- How will this affect people's perception of government?
- Can we expect the passage of reactionary legislation?
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