Friday, February 17, 2012

Waco Tea Party would rather pay taxes, take muzzle off

President vows to comply with IRS

Waco – Toby Marie Walker estimates it will cost anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 to comply with IRS requests for further information to evaluate an application for tax exemption pending with the IRS since 2010.

In a letter she and the board of the Waco branch of the organization plan to release early next week, the federal tax collecting agency asked for transcripts of twice-weekly radio shows, website pages, Twitter tweets and Facebook entries that go back three years.

They fully intend to comply, said Ms. Walker. “We have nothing to hide.”

She and other members of the group's leadership object to the extreme brevity of the extension of time they received after asking for a lengthier period in which to comply.

“They gave us two weeks,” she told The Legendary. “We don't have that kind of money.”

She estimated that the group has received $40,000 in income over a three-year period, and further guessed that if the tax agency does not follow through with granting an application for tax exemption as a 501(c)(4) organization privileged to express political opinions and take electioneering sides while at the same time enjoying tax exempt status, they would owe $400 to $500 in federal income taxes.

“It's my best guess,” she emphasized in an interview.

If she had her druthers, she would pay the taxes, “and let the muzzle come off...I will write the check tomorrow.”

That's something she can't just haul off and do, she explained. “It's my fiduciary duty to the organization to do what the lawyers and CPA's recommend.”

She objects to the extreme cost of having transcriptionists prepare copies of all the radio shows and Tweets, Facebook and website pages.

“There should not be a cost for political free speech.”

As to the very existence of the IRS letter requesting more information, she insists it is real and promised to produce it “either on Monday or Tuesday” following weekend skull sessions with the lawyers who are guiding the Tea Parties through the strategy and tactics of dealing with a clearly hostile government intent on making an example of dissident groups such as the Tea Party.

She countered negative publicity put out by political rivals.

“We don't get any dollars from the Koch brothers, Americans for Prosperity or American Crossroads – anybody.”

She reflected on the status of her political activities so far. “We can't be derailed. What we intend to do is to get what is right.”

She and her fellow board members intend to release a letter of reply to the IRS investigator who made the request for additional information when they release the letter from the IRS – either on Monday or Tuesday.

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