Just two weeks ago The Blaze reported on the strange timing of IRS demand letters being sent to various 9-12 groups, Tea Parties, and other organizations like the Ohio Liberty Council.
Also of note, the coincidence (or not) that this pressure was felt as the White House announced its new Truth Teams.
And now, the Kentucky 912 Project has sent out a press release alleging the IRS is being used to silence it: "Kentucky 9/12 Project, Ohio Liberty Council, Unite in Action, and Numerous Tea Parties across the nation square off against the IRS."
Eric Wilson, the Executive Director of the Kentucky 9/12 Project made his feelings on the IRS action quite clear:
“This is nothing more than a governmental witch hunt on freedom speaking Americans. It is their attempt to either drown groups like ours in unnecessary paper work and time or you survive and give them everything they want only to be hung.”
Why is Eric Wilson so upset with the IRS?
It might have something to do with the fact that his group filed for non-profit status back in December of 2010. They finally heard back from the IRS on Valentines Day of this year. (A mere 14 months after they sent in an initial request.)
What possibly could the IRS be asking for?
The letter contained six pages of demands for information that would handcuff most large companies. Complying with these requests would cripple almost every single one of the 80+ groups that received the letters.
Just six pages? Yes, six pages with 30 questions that also contained sub-bullets which translated into 88 separate requests for information.
And the IRS has also set a serious time limit for the responses to be returned or the groups will lose their non-profit status:
The Kentucky 912ers are also not guaranteed that compliance with the oppressive information request will guarantee their non-profit status will be granted. The Richmond Virginia Tea Party reports that they complied and sent back 550 pages of the information requested, but were still denied non-profit.
From the Richmond Tea Party webpage:
On December 28, 2009, RTP applied to become a 501(c)(4) organization. After nearly ten months, the IRS finally responded with a letter (dated September 17, 2010), requesting detailed documentation to satisfy 17 questions, giving RTP only a two-week window in which to finish. (As the response was curiously due on the opening day of the inaugural Virginia Tea Party Convention, for which RTP was a central organizer, we requested and received a two-week extension.) We fully complied, providing over 500 pages of documentation. We received no response for over a year. Eventually the IRS sent a letter dated January 9, 2012, thanking us for our “complete and thorough responses” from the first request, but then asking us to answer 12 additional questions in 53 separate parts, including the totally inappropriate request for a full list of our donors and volunteers. We were given the same two-week timeframe for completion. It should be noted that this most recent letter was issued on the same day that the IRS issued a new 45-section bulletin regarding applications for tax-exempt status.
Lengthy delays in responses from the IRS, followed by demands for additional information that includes questionable requests for information on donors and volunteers, can there be any wonder why these groups feel persecuted?
The Kentucky 912-er Eric Wilson has responded to the IRS and told them their request was unreasonable and intrusive. His letter ends stating:
Wilson is very clear. The Constitutionally protected rights of free speech and privacy trump the need for his group to be designated a non-profit.