As the TAC grows each year, there are an increasing number of voices calling for us to register as a non-profit organization, ostensibly allowing us to get the “big donors” that we lack.
I’ve refused, on principle, and those principles haven’t changed. But there are also practical reasons to avoid this IRS special status as well; there is serious risk of special treatment – of the undesirable kind.
First, here’s our public position on our “for profit” status based on our principles:
**Gifts to TenthAmendmentCenter.com are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Why? Based on our principles – we won’t accept any government handouts, bribes, or tax discounts to partner with the organization we’re working to limit. We believe in freedom of action and equal treatment for all organizations. Thus, we see the tax “benefits” (at risk of giving up freedom to operate and express free speech) offered to some organizations to be unfair, unequal, and unacceptable.
The feds tell us that 501c3 and other non-profit groups are serving the community and deserve to be tax exempt. But doesn’t your neighborhood plumber or carpenter or grocer also serve the community? We think so. Therefore, we stay “for-profit” and will never get handouts or grants from those looking for benefits from Washington D.C. Please join us!
That statement has been on our site since late-2010. You can see it here. And while we hinted at the risks involved with forming a non-profit with the IRS, the general public has been learning first-hand how that organization is used as a tool to target groups based on political affiliation.
The latest? Campaign for Liberty, the organization founded at the end of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign. From the Washington Examiner:
Campaign for Liberty will fight the Internal Revenue Service’s demand that it reveal its donor list to the agency, despite having already been fined for refusing to do so.
“There is no legitimate reason for the IRS to know who donates to Campaign for Liberty,” Megan Stiles, the communications director at Campaign for Liberty, told the Washington Examiner in an email on Tuesday. “We believe the First Amendment is on our side as evidenced by cases such as NAACP v. Alabama and International Union UAW v. National Right to Work. Many 501(c)(4) organizations protect the privacy of their donors in the very same way as Campaign for Liberty. For some reason the IRS has now chosen to single out Campaign for Liberty for special attention. We plan to fight this all the way.”
Now, instead of focusing their time, energy – and money – on liberty, C4L will have to spend a significant amount of their resources if they decide to “fight this all the way.”
Whatever tax “savings” they lure organizations with have other costs – additional legal expense, accounting expense, paperwork, filings, following and adhering to regulations, changing regulations – and the like. Plus, the potential of having to do what’s right or pay an additional fine (which is likely quite large) or have to fight what will probably be an extremely expensive and losing battle in court.
TAC could never be a 501c3 without changing what we do – “No substantial part…” of a public charity’s activities can go to lobbying. We heavily engage in lobbying to affect legislation on a state level. Nullification legislation, that is.
Unlike C4L, we’ll not become a 501c4 either. Here’s the manual, right from the IRS, filled with loopholes and restrictions.
Tenth Amendment Center is not going to risk this. Period.
On top of it, when you make a donation to the Tenth Amendment Center, it’s as private as can be. We do not publish or share lists of who are members or donors are, nor will we – ever. And, you can go totally private by donating with Bitcoin too.
Bottom line? We want to nullify virtually everything the federal government does. At the end of the day, that means the IRS (and their buddies at the fed) can pretty much wither away.