UPDATE: Laurens County Tea Party was FINALLY approved as a 501 (c) (4) organization on Oct. 16, 2014, which is four years and 3 months since our original application.
UPDATE: Nov. 2017: Our lawsuit has finally been resolved.
Laurens County Tea Party applied to the IRS for 501c4 tax-exempt status in July of 2010. Approximately 2 years later, the IRS targeted us by sending us a request for more information about our group, which asked for excruciating details about all of our activities. At that point, since we knew Tea Party and Patriot groups were being targeted by the IRS, we contacted the American Center for Law and Justice, and they agreed to assist us at no charge. We filed the first round of paperwork with the IRS by the end of 2012, then they sent another request for more information, which we complied with on March 5, 2013. In June of 2013, our president, Dianne Belsom, testified before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee in Washington DC. To date, we have never been interviewed by the FBI or anyone else, yet Pres. Obama announced in February of 2014 that there was not even a “smidgeon of corruption” by the IRS. However, we have still heard nothing from the IRS. Our application is still “pending.” This is completely unacceptable. The IRS has ADMITTED to targeting groups with the words “tea party” and “patriot” in their applications, Lois Lerner has twice pled the 5th when questioned, and the IRS CONTINUES to harass groups by demanding member lists, auditing tea party members at a rate of 10%, as opposed to the chances of someone in the general public being audited, which is 1%. In addition, the IRS is trying to implement new rules that will effectively shut down 501c4’s which is a gross violation of our right to free speech as Americans.
For the record, Laurens County Tea Party has NEVER released a list of our members to the IRS, nor would we. The officers were listed on our application, but that’s it.
Dianne Belsom on Fox News:
ACLJ Press Release on Laurens County Tea Party’s 501c4 approval: