IRS accused of wrongfully targeting Cape Coral non-profit company
CREATED May. 13, 2013
by Dave Culbreth
Cape Coral, Fla.
Here's a switch - The Internal Revenue Service is apologizing. Last week it admitted that it had inappropriately targeted conservative groups during the 2012 election regarding their tax-exempt status. One of those groups is in Cape Coral.
If the phrases, "Tea Party", "Patriot" or "912 Project" were contained in a group's application to be a non-profit, the IRS, by it's own admission made it tougher. One such company is here in Southwest Florida and it's called - Cape 912.
"The information they wanted from us would've taken months," says George Miller who runs the non-profit organization designed to inform young people about the constitution in Lee County schools. It passed out some eight to ten thousand booklets at his cost of about $3 apiece. He says he had Walmart and others set up to contribute. But those companies will only give money to organizations which are considered non-profit. So, in the spring of 2011, Miller applied to the IRS to be a non-profit. He says almost a year later the IRS came back with some ludicrous demands.
"We had a pig roast picnic in the fall and he asked, he wanted to know what the members talked about during the picnic,” recalled Miller. “I have no idea and I have no idea why they wanted that information for a non-profit status."
Miller also said they had a lawyer speak about the constitution at one of their monthly meetings. "They (IRS) wanted us to provide the contents of her speech and a recording if it was available," said Miller.
"I thought it was ridiculous," says Richard Kudla is a member of Cape 912 and a retired attorney and thinks the IRS's strategy was to make it so difficult the organizations would give up. "Exactly, not only that but they make the questions so inane that and irrelevant that these organizations throw up their hands and say 'we can't do this, we're not going forward with this'."
Monday, President Obama addressed the accusations against the nation’s tax organization, "If in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups then that's outrageous."
The Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration is expected to release the results of a yearlong investigation into this issue sometime this week.
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