Responding to the lack of definition of the type and amount of political activity permitted by 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations and last year’s “scandal” over the extra scrutiny given to Tea Party and other organizations applying for (c)(4) status, the Internal Revenue Service has proposed a new set of regulations to clarify some of the issues and ask for public comment.
The outpouring has been substantial, from both the right and left sides of the political spectrum. The left has criticized the proposals as curbing civic engagement. The right has criticized them as a power grab. A record number of comments has been received during the comment period that expires February 27.