The IRS is one of the most feared and loathed parts of the federal government. It has recently been found to target political groups that don't tow the line of the people currently in charge of the US government. Now Ars Technica is reporting that the IRS may be targeting open source projects by refusing to give them 501(c)(3) status.
According to Ars Technica:
The IRS denied a proposal to grant 501(c)(3) status to Yorba, a nonprofit organization that develops open source software for the Linux desktop. In a blog post yesterday, Yorba spokesperson Jim Nelson disclosed the full text of the IRS rejection letter. He fears that IRS policy has evolved to broadly preclude nonprofit open source software developers from obtaining 501(c)(3) tax exemptions.
It took the IRS four years to issue Yorba’s rejection, consistent with the poor treatment and delays seen by other organizations that were targeted by the IRS keyword watch list. Beyond the problems with the reasoning that the IRS provides for rejecting Yorba, the manner in which it has singled out prospective charitable organizations by blind keyword matching rather than the merits of the individual case seems deeply discriminatory.More at Ars Technica
As the article notes, the organization that was denied 501(c)(3) status can still operate, but they may face a hefty tax burden that could adversely affect their ability to survive financially since they are a nonprofit. Given all the other IRS scandals going on, one has to wonder where the heck the US Congress is in all of this? Aren't they supposed to provide oversight for the IRS?
If you find yourself angry at the behavior of the IRS, you might want to take a moment to contact your representatives in Congress. While it may or may not get them moving to reign in the IRS, it certainly won't hurt to put some pressure on them and let them know that you are aware of the shenanigans being perpetrated by the IRS.
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