IRS Investigated Over Lenient Treatment Of Leftist Nonprofits

The GOP-led House Oversight and Accountability Committee recently launched an investigation into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for allegedly allowing nonprofit leftist groups to act as lobbyists and be involved in politics.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel, citing Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

“Tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and implementing regulations requires that exempted entities are ‘operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational’ and related purposes,” Comer wrote.

“Despite these limitations on political and lobbying activities by 501(c)(3) designated entities, activist advocacy organizations, such as One Fair Wage, Inc., seem to view their charitable work as indistinguishable from their substantial lobbying pursuits,” the House Oversight Committee chairman added.

Newsmax reported that One Fair Wage Inc. is a nonprofit that calls for increasing the minimum wage. Such an action is supposed to be strictly limited to charities or 501(c)(3) organizations.

While citing legal documents, Comer said the group described lobbying as its “organizational purpose.”

The Daily Caller reported that the nonprofit’s purpose is to “advance policy, drive industry change, and shift the narrative in order to ensure that all workers in America are paid at least the full minimum age.”

Interestingly, many leftist nonprofits, such as the Gates Foundation, Tides Foundation and Windward Fund, have provided One Fair Wage Inc. with thousands of dollars in funding.

In the Tides Foundation’s case, the grant came to support “equity, human rights and economic empowerment.” Meanwhile, the Gates Foundation provided the nonprofit with funds, allowing it to work toward “economic mobility and opportunity.”

Windward Fund’s grant was directed to “environmental programs,” according to the Daily Caller.

House Republicans’ investigation into the IRS comes after the agency and then-senior executive Lois Lerner were criticized for unfairly treating conservative-leaning nonprofits. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has admitted that such groups were subjected to unfair and intense examination in their tax-exempt status applications.

Comer said that the IRS is now treating left-leaning nonprofits leniently.

“We are concerned that IRS may now be engaged in withholding legitimate enforcement efforts as they pertain to activist groups behind their non-profit statuses,” the Kentucky congressman said.

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