2002: “501(c)(4) entities may be vehicles for political spending”

In this post, I mentioned a prescient letter to the IRS from Greg Colvin and Rosemary Fei, asking for clarification on a host of (c)(4) issues. From the intro, written August 30, 2002: “Considering that a number of existing and new 501(c)(4) entities may be vehicles for political spending, particularly after the McCain-Feingold legislation becomes effective on November 6, 2002, this seems an opportune time for the Service and Treasury to directly address political activities of social welfare organizations.” The letter then asks for clarification on the gift tax, the amount of permissible political activity, and a host of other questions — most of which have been in the news lately, and most of which haven’t gotten much clearer in the past decade.

Thanks to Ellen Aprill — and to Greg and Rosemary — for dredging up the letter itself.


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