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Wed May 29, 2013, 12:27 PM

How is it that the Heritage Foundation under it's 501(c)3 is a tax exempt business?

This is a load of bunk. In California if you make a donation 100% of it is considered a tax free donation. I repeat 100% of your gift may be deducted under Federal and State Income taxes.

This is an abuse of our tax code. There is nothing charitable that the Heritage Foundation does that to help regular people. They say they are "a research and educational institute - a think tank- whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values and a strong national defense".

All I see if they are promoting the dismantling our safety nets, destroying local governments via the tax bases , letting corporations abuse their employees by deregulating thelaws that might cost their corporate toads money. Advocating for taking away women's reproductive rights and endless wars. This is outrageous and the fact they pay Jim Demented 5 Million dollars is appalling.

Got another one of those mailers and read their dribble I needed to take a trip to the bathroom after reading it. And don't get me started on this individual freedom bs. Anytime I hear someone say it I want to scream!!!!

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Reply How is it that the Heritage Foundation under it's 501(c)3 is a tax exempt business? (Original post)
kimbutgar May 2013 OP
elleng May 2013 #1
SlimJimmy May 2013 #3
ErikJ May 2013 #13
hfojvt May 2013 #2
hay rick May 2013 #27
1KansasDem May 2013 #4
Jeff In Milwaukee May 2013 #5
SoCalDem May 2013 #10
hay rick May 2013 #30
Isoldeblue May 2013 #6
Cleita May 2013 #7
dumbcat May 2013 #20
Cleita May 2013 #26
former9thward May 2013 #28
Starry Messenger May 2013 #8
SoCalDem May 2013 #9
starroute May 2013 #11
ErikJ May 2013 #12
hack89 May 2013 #14
ErikJ May 2013 #15
hack89 May 2013 #16
ErikJ May 2013 #17
hack89 May 2013 #21
ErikJ May 2013 #24
former9thward May 2013 #29
ErikJ May 2013 #31
former9thward May 2013 #32
X_Digger May 2013 #33
former9thward May 2013 #34
X_Digger May 2013 #35
Rex May 2013 #19
hack89 May 2013 #22
Rex May 2013 #23
Rex May 2013 #18
brooklynite May 2013 #25

Response to kimbutgar (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 12:31 PM

1. Dunno.

501(c)(3) — Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations
501(c)(4) — Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations, and Local Associations of Employees

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:05 PM

3. I suspect they're using the educational section. Flimsy at best.

501(c)(3) — Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations
501(c)(4) — Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations, and Local Associations of Employees

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Wed May 29, 2013, 03:06 PM

13. But they invented Obamacare

 

In 1993 as an alternative to Hillarycare they came up with the core concept of Romney and Obamacare, the health insurance mandate.
We might have Single Payer now if it werent for them.

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Response to kimbutgar (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 12:36 PM

2. they claim to be "educational"

they are trying to teach the country that what's good for the rich is good for America.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #2)

Wed May 29, 2013, 08:55 PM

27. Al Capp beat them to it.

What's good for General Bullmoose is good for the USA!

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Response to kimbutgar (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:16 PM

4. I don't really understand the in's and out's

of 501 c3's and 501 c4's.
Media Matters and Moveon are both c3's. The DLC(no longer in business) and Organizing For America are c4's.
Even though they're on my side, I don't understand how they meet the standard of not being political.

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Response to 1KansasDem (Reply #4)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:38 PM

5. It's all in the definition of political activity...

If I say "Vote For Jones" then I'm engaging in partisan political activity. If I publish a slew of articles that agrees with Jones' position on the major issues and without any direct input from the Jones campaign, then I'm being merely educational. Issues advocacy, as long as it doesn't name any specific candidate, party or ballot initiative, is not considered political activity.

Edit: Should point out that a small amount of non-partisan political activity is allowed. Some non-profit organizations sponsor "Lobby Day" events when members and other concerned persons go to the state capitol to lobby legislators on a particular area of interest. As long as this event represents a reasonably small amount of the groups activities, it's usually allowable.

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Response to 1KansasDem (Reply #4)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:59 PM

10. They just crawled (walked upright, actually) through a loophole

It;s tax-evasion, no matter who does it

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Response to 1KansasDem (Reply #4)

Wed May 29, 2013, 09:20 PM

30. Folks at the IRS want to keep their jobs.

They have the authority to enforce a stricter standard, but not the will. All of the Republicans, the administration, and many other Democrats are beholden to rich, anonymous donors. Money talks, principle walks.

Bill Moyers weighs in here: http://billmoyers.com/2013/05/22/six-facts-lost-in-the-irs-scandal/
Of the more than $256 million spent by social welfare nonprofits on ads in the 2012 elections, at least 80 percent came from conservative groups, according to FEC figures tallied by the Center for Responsive Politics.

None came from the Tea Party groups with applications flagged by the IRS. Instead, a few big conservative groups were largely responsible.

Crossroads GPS, which this week said it believes it is among the conservative groups “targeted” by the IRS, spent more than $70 million in federal races in 2012. Americans for Prosperity, the social welfare nonprofit launched by the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, spent more than $36 million. American Future Fund spent more than $25 million. Americans for Tax Reform spent almost $16 million. American Action Network spent almost $12 million.

Besides Crossroads GPS, each of those groups has applied to the IRS and been recognized as tax-exempt. (You can look at their applications here.)

Bottom line: the Republicans stand to benefit from non-enforcement. Ditto Third-Way Democrats. Of the 72 Tea Party Groups who had their 501c4 applications held up for further scrutiny, zero were denied the exemption. The Moyer article also documents how many of the applying groups simply lie about the nature of their activities. The administration turns a blind eye...

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Response to kimbutgar (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:42 PM

6. K&R YES!

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Response to kimbutgar (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:42 PM

7. My first thoughts too. All those right wing think tanks funded by the

Koch brothers et al have a .org on their websites which means they are claiming tax free exemptions like a charity. I say it's time for the IRS to investigate. I believe a lot of this hoopla is a preemptive strike by them so that they are not investigated by the IRS.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #7)

Wed May 29, 2013, 03:50 PM

20. A .org in a domain name is not necessarily a tax exempt.

Used to be, but:

The domain name org is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) of the Domain Name System (DNS) used in the Internet. The name is truncated from organization. It was one of the original domains established in 1985 and operated by the Public Interest Registry since 1988. The domain extension was originally created for non-profits, but today it is commonly used by schools, open-source projects, communities, and for-profit entities. The number of registered .org domains have increased from less than one million in the 1990s, to ten million as of June, 2012.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.org

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Response to dumbcat (Reply #20)

Wed May 29, 2013, 08:50 PM

26. Really? Then DU should be able to use .org. n/t

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Response to Cleita (Reply #26)

Wed May 29, 2013, 08:57 PM

28. Why would it want to?

.com is by far the most popular and it is what people are used to typing.

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Response to kimbutgar (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:44 PM

8. While they probably aren't breaking the law, I think it is ironic.

These guys always screech limited government while using government structures to exist in. Hypocrites.

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Response to kimbutgar (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 01:57 PM

9. The ONLY tax exemptions should go to REAL churches/charities

brick & mortar churches that minister to the poor..The pastors/reverends/priests/whatever are being paid a WAGE and they should pay taxes on that wage.

Churches need to render to Caesar.

Donations to ANY organization that is even remotely political should be taxed.
Exemptions should only be given to organizations that promote the well-being of the planet and its poor.

Exemptions are for TRUE charities and do-gooders.. If republicans cannot qualify, they need to rejigger their though/policy process.

Want to hold a fancy ball to auction off that million dollar art piece? Pay for the damned party and donate the proceeds.

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Response to kimbutgar (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 02:48 PM

11. Serious questions have been raised about them in the past

I know there were questions in the late 90's about their Hong Kong office trying to drum up business opportunities preceding the Chinese takeover. And I found this in my files from 2005:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59539-2005Apr16.html

Think Tank's Ideas Shifted As Malaysia Ties Grew
Business Interests Overlapped Policy

By Thomas B. Edsall
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 17, 2005; Page A01

For years, the Heritage Foundation sharply criticized the autocratic rule of former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, denouncing his anti-Semitism, his jailing of political opponents and his "anti-free market currency controls."

Then, late in the summer of 2001, the conservative nonprofit Washington think tank began to change its assessment: Heritage financed an Aug. 30-Sept. 4, 2001, trip to Malaysia for three House members and their spouses. Heritage put on briefings for the congressional delegation titled "Malaysia: Standing Up for Democracy" and "U.S. and Malaysia: Ways to Cooperate in Order to Influence Peace and Stability in Southeast Asia."

Heritage's new, pro-Malaysian outlook emerged at the same time a Hong Kong consulting firm co-founded by Edwin J. Feulner, Heritage's president, began representing Malaysian business interests. The for-profit firm, called Belle Haven Consultants, retains Feulner's wife, Linda Feulner, as a "senior adviser." And Belle Haven's chief operating officer, Ken Sheffer, is the former head of Heritage's Asia office and is still on Heritage's payroll as a $75,000-a-year consultant.

On Sept. 27, 2001, Belle Haven hired Alexander Strategy Group, a Washington lobby firm run by Edwin A. Buckham, a former chief of staff to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), to help represent Malaysian clients. Linda Feulner works as a consultant for Alexander Strategy Group as well as for Belle Haven. Experts say that the relationship between one of Washington's most influential conservative think tanks and a network of lobbying firms collecting fees from Malaysian business interests -- well in excess of $1 million over two years -- could pose a problem for Heritage's tax status as a nonprofit group. The fees were disclosed in reports filed with Congress and the Justice Department.

(On edit -- more details here: http://dccc.org/blog/entry/heritage/)

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Response to kimbutgar (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 03:02 PM

12. Media Matters is a 501(c)3 also

 

But I think their primary purpose is to expose and correct the lies of the media which I would think is educational.

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Response to kimbutgar (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 03:21 PM

14. The Center for American Progress is classified as a 501(c)(3)

it is a liberal counterpart to the Heritage Foundation.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #14)

Wed May 29, 2013, 03:31 PM

15. Its what they advocate for is the difference

 

Heritage Foundation primary goal to help the 1% vs CFAP goal to help the 99%.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #15)

Wed May 29, 2013, 03:33 PM

16. So you want the IRS use partisan political criteria

when determining tax exempt status? Or shall they be politically neutral?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #16)

Wed May 29, 2013, 03:37 PM

17. "POLE"-itically neutral is impossible.

 

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #17)

Wed May 29, 2013, 03:56 PM

21. So each incoming administration simply applies its own political bias to the process?

Republican administrations deny liberal groups and Democratic administrations deny conservative groups?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #21)

Wed May 29, 2013, 04:10 PM

24. Democratic platform advocates for social welfare - GOP not so much.

 

Last edited Wed May 29, 2013, 06:25 PM - Edit history (1)

In fact the GOP platform is for REDUCING social welfare in government.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #24)

Wed May 29, 2013, 09:05 PM

29. The IRS has a far different definition of "social welfare" than you do.

If interested you can read theirs: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopicg81.pdf

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Response to former9thward (Reply #29)

Wed May 29, 2013, 09:20 PM

31. If the HF qualifies then every business in America should qualify.

 

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #31)

Wed May 29, 2013, 09:23 PM

32. Most businesses want to make a profit.

So they would be foolish to want to be a 501c3.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #32)

Wed May 29, 2013, 09:49 PM

33. One small thing..

Businesses can be a "non-profit" and make profit.

"Non-profit" is a bit of a misnomer. They're more properly called a 'non-stock corporation'-- meaning that the profits accrue to the company, not to a shareholder.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #33)

Wed May 29, 2013, 10:06 PM

34. We are talking about 501cs

If you are designed as a 501c you are subject to audit by the IRS to determine if you are actually a non-profit. No business, share or not share, would want that burden.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #34)

Wed May 29, 2013, 10:14 PM

35. True, but all "non-profits" make profit. (If they survive, I suppose.)

The designation of 501(C)(X) is not dependent on not making profit. That's a common misperception.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #14)

Wed May 29, 2013, 03:40 PM

19. Do they have politicans from the Left on their payroll

 

hardly the counterpart to the group that helped steal the 2000 election.

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Response to Rex (Reply #19)

Wed May 29, 2013, 04:00 PM

22. It's first president was President Clinton's former chief of staff John Podesta

It's present President, Neera Tanden, worked for the Michael Dukakis, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Obama campaigns.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #22)

Wed May 29, 2013, 04:07 PM

23. Okay I stand corrected then, they are the opposite of the HF.

 

You need to be that deep into politics to compare to the HF imo.

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Response to kimbutgar (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 03:39 PM

18. Got me, they've had more people working directly with the GOP

 

than Foxnews! It is a political think tank for the GOP. How indeed!

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Response to kimbutgar (Original post)

Wed May 29, 2013, 04:16 PM

25. Do you want a real answer, or do you just want to vent?

There is no requirement that a 501(C)(3) "help real people". The might be a meritorius goal, but its not what the tax code says. The Heritage Foundation does policy research, and thus fills an educational purpose, which you can choose to accept or reject. As for "dismantling our safety nets, destroying local governments via the tax bases , letting corporations abuse their employees by deregulating thelaws that might cost their corporate toads money. Advocating for taking away women's reproductive rights and endless wars.", we can agree that those are not worthy goals, but they are not wrong LEGALLY. As long as Heritage doesn't step over the line of lobbying for policies or candidates, the way to fight their ideas is with ideas of our own.

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