IRS Does THIS to a Veterans Benefit Group After an Event for Donald Trump
A veterans benefits group has found themselves at the center of controversy after hosting a campaign event for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump. Citing that the group failed to file tax returns for three years, the IRS has revoked the group’s non-profit tax-exempt status.
According to the Associated Press, the group Veterans for a Strong America received notification of the Internal Revenue Service’s decision on August 10th and has been in the process of appealing. More concerning than the loss of their tax-exempt status are the possible campaign finance law ramifications the group may now being facing.
The group’s chairman, Joel Arends of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, said the organization was appealing the IRS decision.
“We disagree with the IRS determination letter,” Arends told the AP in an interview. He appeared alongside Trump on Tuesday night on the ship.
Regardless of its legal status as a nonprofit, Veterans for a Strong America’s endorsement of Trump on the deck of the USS Iowa may also raise campaign finance questions. Under federal law, corporations are restricted to donating $2,700 either in cash or in-kind contributions to a campaign. But the event, which Veterans for a Strong America paid for, involved 850 attendees, putting the cost at roughly $11,000.
U.S. law also generally prohibits candidates from coordinating their campaign activities with outside groups, and prohibits corporations from spending more than a minimal amount announcing their endorsements.
“As far as we knew, this was a nonprofit that supports veterans, and we were unaware of who their speaker was until after it was booked,” said museum chief executive John Williams. He said the museum relied on such groups’ self-characterization as nonprofit organizations to determine to price.
The AP reached out to the Trump campaign for comment on the matter and has not yet received a response.
What are your thoughts? Should the group have their status removed or is this an attempt by the Obama administration to slow down Trump? Share your comments below and add this to your Twitter/Facebook timeline.
H/T: Associated Press