And then they came for the veterans. On Day 120 of the perennial never ending IRS scandal (September 6, 2013) (As I write this on New Years Eve, we are on Day 601 according to the TaxProf) stories were featured on the IRS investigating veterans groups to determine if the people involved in them were, you know, veterans. On WND, we could read
The Internal Revenue Service, which has been caught harassing conservative organizations with demands for personal ideological details, such as the content of prayers, now is doing the same to veterans’ groups.
Probably the most moving section of [Irony Alert] Craig Berman’s cinematic masterpiece Unfair: Exposing the IRS w as the interview with Russell Montgomery of American Legion Post 447 in Round Rock, Texas.
Dogs That Don’t Bark
One of the rather curious things about the IRS scandal narrative is that the investigation of groups causes quite a bit of angst, but when the IRS actually takes action either denying or revoking exempt status, there is hardly a ripple on the tax blogosphere. There have been a few denials of 501(c)(4) status, that have gone largely unremarked and now we have two revocations of 501(c)(19) status – Veterans Organizations. The rulings Private Letter Ruling 201451042 and Private Letter Ruling 201451041 give a history of the evolution of the tax treatment of Veterans’ Organizations and highlight the abuse that the IRS was concerned about in the audits that created the flurry of stories last year and perhaps a chance to reflect on how the road to hellish tax complexity is paved with good intentions .