Richard Spencer needs to learn from Jared Taylor how to run a think tank. It’s simply unimaginable to think that Taylor’s Amren would be careless enough to let its tax-exempt status lapse.
White supremacist organizer Richard Spencer has collided with something that might smart a little more than a punch to the face: The revocation of his organization’s tax-exempt status by the IRS.
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday evening that Spencer’s National Policy Institute, the quasi-academic think tank behind a notorious Washington, D.C., conference in November, has lost its tax-exempt status after the paper inquired whether Spencer had filed proper paperwork to fundraise in Virginia.
After Spencer took helm of the organization in 2011, the National Policy Institute apparently stopped filing its required IRS returns in 2012 and did not do so for the next three years. Any organization that fails file tax returns for three years automatically loses its tax-exempt status under IRS rules. The IRS stripped the National Policy Institute of its tax-exempt status retroactively as of May 15, 2016, the date NPI’s 2015 return would have been due.
Virginia charity regulators have additionally “removed the entry for the National Policy Institute from their public database of nonprofits and began a review, which remained active as of Monday,” the Times reported.
The Times also inquired whether Spencer’s repeated endorsements of President Donald Trump and solicitation of funds to “fight against Hillary Clinton” would have violated 501(c)(3) nonprofit rules prohibiting partisan speech “in official organization publications or at official functions of the organization.” But Louisiana State University law professor and former IRS attorney Philip T. Hackney told Times “as a technical matter, they can’t have violated the provision, because they weren’t a charity anyway.”
However, the political comments may come back into play if Spencer asks the IRS to reinstate its tax-exempt status, which is not automatic and requires IRS review.
Spencer’s defense was not exactly encouraging. “I don’t know what to say,” he said to the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t want to make a comment because I don’t understand this stuff. It’s a bit embarrassing, but it’s not good. We’ll figure it out.”
I am not an attorney although I’ve spent more than enough on them to pay my way through law school. In my opinion, Richard’s likes of Trump are legit and should not disqualify the NPI from tax-exempt status. Jared Taylor has also liked Trump in various statements.
Neither Amren nor NPI has endorsed Trump. Likewise, the folks at the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) said many good things about Obama, although that tax-exempt organization never endorsed him.
Spencer is right. This is a minor embarrassment, but it will be worked out.