IRS Targeted Pro-Life Group Earlier than Claimed
Contrary to the official version of events told by the IRS, the targeting of conservative groups did not begin in 2010, but started at least as early as 2009. The Coalition For Life, a pro-life group from Cedar Rapids, Iowa was questioned by an IRS agent in Cincinnati named “Ms. Richards” as early as April, 2009. The Coalition stated to the IRS that it was “organized for charitable, religious and educational activities.”
Some of the questions asked about the prayer meetings the group held and what was written on signs that the group held when protesting Planned Parenthood. More than 150 pages of correspondence between the organization and the IRS occurred in 2009, even though the group’s assertion that it was “organized for charitable, religious and educational activities” qualified it as a tax-exempt entity under 501(c)(3) status.
Friday’s testimony in Washington by IRS officials stated that the targeting of conservative groups only began in 2010 after a plethora of Tea Party and Liberty groups applied for 501(c)(4) status.
Despite the fact that 501(c)(3) organizations are permitted to have religious activities and advocate on non-partisan issues, some of the queries sent to Coalition For Life included:
Please explain how all of your activities, including prayer meetings, held outside Planned Parenthood are considered educational as defined under 501(c)(3)?
Organizations exempt under 501(c)(3) may present opinions with scientific or medical facts.
Explain in detail the activities at these prayer meetings.
Please provide the percentage of time your group spends on prayer groups as compared with other activities of the organization.
Please explain in detail the signs that are being held up outside Planned Parenthood, and explain how they are considered educational.
The Coalition For Life’s attorney answered the IRS in 2009:
These inquiries indicate some very wrong assumptions about the coalitions and the applicable law. As a result, the coalition has been prejudiced and has suffered harm since it is unable to solicit and receive tax deductible charitable contributions.