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Is the IRS Abandoning Its Duty to Stop “Dark Money” From Ruling the 2016 Election? By Candice Bernd

A federal appeals court Tuesday upheld a ban on government contractors contributing to federal election campaigns, saying the ban was originally put in place to prevent government corruption. However, in deciding the case, the court didn’t address such contractors’ anonymous contributions to “dark money” nonprofit groups, organizations that abuse the rules of their tax exempt status to engage in political spending, such as Karl Rove’s infamous Crossroads GPS.

Another entity that’s not addressing these anonymous contributions? The Internal Revenue Service. According to former agency analysts, the IRS is expected to simply ignore these types of nonprofit groups, whose growing abuse of tax laws will continue shielding the identities of their donors in the 2016 race.

These dark money groups are expected to increase their political spending in the 2016 election, even though such nonprofits, including 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) organizations, are supposed to be dedicated to social welfare initiatives under the terms of their tax exemption. The terms of exemption explicitly preclude participation in political campaigns. According to the IRS, a social welfare nonprofit must operate “to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community.” Further, social welfare nonprofits must not restrict the use of facilities and resources to employees or members of private groups or corporations.

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