The Internal Revenue Service has interpreted our tax laws to allow big corporations and wealthy individuals to make unlimited secret campaign donations through sham political fronts called “social welfare organizations,” like Karl Rove’s Crossroads, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Priorities USA.
Despite its vitriolic activities and protests that are political in nature, the hate group Westboro Baptist Church has somehow managed to keep its IRS tax-exempt status. But after its publicly announced plans to picket the funerals of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, tens of thousands of people have signed petitions hoping to change that.
In a confidential 2010 filing, Crossroads GPS—the dark money group that spent more than $70 million from anonymous donors on the 2012 election—told the Internal Revenue Service that its efforts would focus on public education, research and shaping legislation and policy.
Figures from the Internal Revenue Service suggest that nonfinance companies based in the United States are holding more than $5 trillion in cash, triple what the Federal Reserve reports—idle money that Reuters columnist David Cay Johnston suggests would be better spent creating jobs, paying dividends and sharing the burden of taxes.
An Internal Revenue Service unit is being developed to catch wealthy tax cheats who find ways to hide their assets in different businesses and accounts. The new unit reportedly has hired hundreds of employees to combat international tax evasion.