Marcus Owens Quoted in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, IRS Denial of Tax Exemption to U.S. Political Group Spurs Alarms

June 8, 2012, Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Excerpt taken from the article.

An Internal Revenue Service decision revoking the tax-exempt status of a small political nonprofit organization may foreshadow an investigation into groups such as Crossroads GPS and Priorities USA that spend millions on the 2012 U.S. presidential election.

At risk would be the groups' nonprofit status, which lets them collect millions of dollars from individuals and corporations while keeping donors anonymous.

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are benefitting from such nonprofits. Crossroads GPS was started with help from former President George W. Bush's chief political strategist, Karl Rove. Priorities USA was co-founded by Bill Burton, a former Obama aide.

The recent IRS decision sends a signal that it may turn its attention after November's election to major nonprofits involved in this years election, said Marcus Owens, a lawyer and former IRS director who oversaw nonprofits.

"The message is groups like Crossroads need to be prepared to explain to the IRS why they're entitled to tax-exempt status," said Owens.

The IRS decision released last month involved a so-called campaign school in which a partisan group trained candidates.

"You are not operated primarily to promote social welfare because your activities are conducted primarily for the benefit of a political party and a private group of individuals, rather than the community as a whole," said the IRS letter telling the group it was losing its exempt status.

To read more about the debate regarding the debate surrounding the tax-exempt status of political nonprofits, click here.

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