4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Catholic Group Demands Money From IRS Despite Having Already Been Paid

Catholic Answers, a San Diego-based group “dedicated to serving Christ by bringing the fullness of Catholic truth to the world,” announced last Friday it will ask the US Supreme Court to intervene and allow the organization to sue the Internal Revenue Service.

In 2004, the group published a voters’ guide and sent two political e-mails to a subscriber group. While the printed guide did not endorse any candidates by name, the e-mails specifically attacked self-proclaimed Catholic and then-Presidential candidate John Kerry for his stance on abortion.

The IRS, in an investigation, ruled that the guide did not violate the group’s tax-exempt status because it did not directly advocate for any given candidate, but found that the e-letters, since they specifically opposed the candidacy of an individual, constituted political expenditures. Catholic Answers was then ordered to pay excise taxes for 2004 and 2005. The IRS eventually reversed its decision, ruling that the alleged political activity “was not willful and flagrant.” The agency refunded the taxes, along with interest.

In April of 2009, Catholic Answers filed suit against the IRS in US District Court, claiming that the levy was a violation of their First Amendment rights and demanding a return of the taxes paid. The case was thrown out, as a refund had already been issued. The Ninth District Court of Appeals refused to allow the suit to be re-introduced, stating “[t]his suit is moot. There is no relief that this court could grant. The tax paid has already been abated.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Here’s what vegans were lining up for in Encinitas

The new game in plant-based meats is pork… and imitation spiced ham
Next Article

Robert Frost: cracker-barrel philosopher

One of America’s most celebrated poets

Catholic Answers, a San Diego-based group “dedicated to serving Christ by bringing the fullness of Catholic truth to the world,” announced last Friday it will ask the US Supreme Court to intervene and allow the organization to sue the Internal Revenue Service.

In 2004, the group published a voters’ guide and sent two political e-mails to a subscriber group. While the printed guide did not endorse any candidates by name, the e-mails specifically attacked self-proclaimed Catholic and then-Presidential candidate John Kerry for his stance on abortion.

The IRS, in an investigation, ruled that the guide did not violate the group’s tax-exempt status because it did not directly advocate for any given candidate, but found that the e-letters, since they specifically opposed the candidacy of an individual, constituted political expenditures. Catholic Answers was then ordered to pay excise taxes for 2004 and 2005. The IRS eventually reversed its decision, ruling that the alleged political activity “was not willful and flagrant.” The agency refunded the taxes, along with interest.

In April of 2009, Catholic Answers filed suit against the IRS in US District Court, claiming that the levy was a violation of their First Amendment rights and demanding a return of the taxes paid. The case was thrown out, as a refund had already been issued. The Ninth District Court of Appeals refused to allow the suit to be re-introduced, stating “[t]his suit is moot. There is no relief that this court could grant. The tax paid has already been abated.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Comments
6

"The IRS eventually reversed its decision, ruling that the alleged political activity “was not willful and flagrant.” "

There's your answer, honey.

It's called "intimidation." According to the IRS, Catholic Answers is GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY! BWA-HAH-HAH-HAH!!!

But, because the IRS has such a tremendously big heart, it will let Catholic Answers off - JUST THIS ONCE - and rebate the money.

Of course, if Catholic Answers does it again, then WHAMMO! The IRS will punish them all and throw away the key. Because then it WILL be "willful and flagrant" activity, see?

Catholic Answers is concerned about that precedent. But the IRS has insulated its decision by generously rebating the money which it ILLEGALLY CONFISCATED to begin with.

Catholic Answer is asking the court to remind the IRS that the original IRS ruling was ILLEGAL.

By the way, what is it called when you have to explain a newspaper account to the very newspaper that publishes the account?

Oct. 24, 2011

From http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=175818,00.html :

"The prohibition against political campaign activity has been in effect for more than half a century and bars certain tax-exempt organizations from engaging on behalf of or in opposition to political candidates. However, these organizations can engage in advocating for or against issues and, to a limited extent, ballot initiatives or other legislative activities."

The IRS does seem to believe that it's against the law for non-profits to speak in favor of or against a political candidate - which is exactly what the Kerry e-mails did. So yes, a second violation of the law after the organization had received a warning and been let off the hook once would seem to be "willful and flagrant."

Oct. 24, 2011

Dave,

Do tell! I didn't know that the Congress or the President made laws about who can receive the Eucharist in a Catholic Church!

Could you point me to the part of the federal code that describes what spiritual state the Catholic believer must have in order for proper reception according to federal law?

And here I always thought that it was the CATHOLIC CHURCH that decided who was and wasn't part of it's communion! How stupid I was, not to realize this is part of the federal mandate!

Of course, for years many of the thirteen colonies DID have oaths of office wherein a candidate had to swear that he didn't accept Transubstantiation in order to be sworn into office... maybe you think Catholic Answers ran afoul of THOSE laws?

You're so cute when you say silly things!

Oct. 24, 2011

The US Supreme Court wont touch his case with a 10 foot pole. DOA. Tell them to save their $455 filing fee.

Oct. 24, 2011

Maybe not, but the IRS is clearly in the wrong here.

AT NO POINT did Catholic Answers materials tell anyone to vote for or against John Kerry.

All their material did was point out that John Kerry was an excommunicate Catholic. Heck, Joe Lieberman is an excommunicate Jew, for all that (Lieberman's rabbis and community cut him off when he endorsed homosexual marriage).

Catholic Answer material also pointed out that Catholics have moral teachings to follow on five central moral issues: abortion, contraception, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell harvesting (adult stem cell research is morally fine) and homosexual marriage.

It pointed out that Catholics have a duty to eliminate these evils from society or keep such evils from taking root.

Catholic Answers simply reiterated Catholic teaching on those five issues and on reception of the Eucharist. It did not promote or oppose any political candidate.

Whether the Ninth District was correct about it being a moot case is an open question.

In any case, LBJ's unconstitutional infringement on the free speech of religious organizations needs to be struck down. The state doesn't have a right to define what a religion is or religious speech is, and that's what it is doing.

Oct. 24, 2011

"Maybe not, but the IRS is clearly in the wrong here."

I have no position on if the IRS is "wrong" or not, I am just giving you the facts- the SCOTUS will not come close to reviewing this case. They get 10K appeals a year and only take 70-80 cases, this will not be one of them, and the costs to appeal-the legal fees and filing fees- are very high. Don't waste good money on this.

It is better to save that money and put it to GOOD use in their mission, where they can help people, not waste it on an appeal that has no chance.

Oct. 25, 2011

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close