While researching tax exempt status of organizations in the USA for my next legislative letter writing campaign against the WTBTS, I found this letter from Charles W. Boustany, Jr, Oversight Subcommittee - Chairman to Douglas H. Shulman, Commissioner - Internal Revenue Service, which was dated October 6, 2011. It just made me wonder if AARP's tax exempt status could be in jeopardy because of its business practises, why can't the WTBTS' business practise of extracting donations from JWs through building and selling KHs be questioned?
I'm trying to discover if now is a good time to raise eliminating tax exemptions for organizations that are dangerous cults, and to think of several different ideas in which to ask Congressman and Senators to investigate the WTBTS in specific and cults in general.
What do you think?
Peace be with you and everyone, who you love,
Dear Commissioner Shulman:
In the last few years, Congress and the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") have focused on the tax-exempt sector in an effort to increase compliance and improve oversight. These efforts led to new rules to prevent self-dealing and similar abuses, increased reporting requirements, and a well-publicized compliance program that resulted in thousands of tax-exempt status revocations for non-compliant organizations.
In addition to these new rules and compliance initiatives, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight has continued to explore current issues involving the tax-exempt sector. As you know, in April of this year, the Subcommittees on Health and Oversight held a joint hearing that focused on AARP, one of the oldest and largest tax-exempt organizations in the United States. During that hearing, many issues were raised regarding AARP's tax-exempt status, including its organizational structure and business activities, casting doubt on whether the organization acts exclusively to promote the welfare of all seniors or if it has simply become a for-profit enterprise. Indeed, AARP is not the only tax-exempt organization that more closely resembles a for-profit enterprise, rather than an organization formed for social welfare or public charity. Members of both Subcommittees have expressed concern that other tax-exempt organizations may not be complying with the letter or the spirit of the tax-exempt regime, yet continue to enjoy the benefits of tax exemption.
Therefore, it is my responsibility as the Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee to explore the current regulatory environment, review the status of new laws and ongoing enforcement initiatives, and gather information on critical issues involving the tax-exempt sector. Your responses to the questions detailed below will provide the Subcommittee with a better understanding of the tax-exempt sector and some of the issues raised during the Subcommittees' hearing on AARP. Please remit your responses no later than October 20, 20 I 1.
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