Tuesday, September 24, 2013

True The Vote Wins Right To Tax Exempt Status

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND IRS AGREE
TO GRANT TRUE THE VOTE'S
TAX EXEMPT STATUS IN IRS LAWSUIT
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. September 23, 2013 - Attorneys from the Department of Justice (DOJ) advised the federal court in Washington, D.C. late Friday that the IRS has determined to "grant True the Vote (TTV)'s tax exempt status" with the concurrence of the DOJ.

"We are pleased and relieved that the IRS and the DOJ are finally doing what should have been done three years ago, which is to recognize TTV as a charitable and educational organization, which we have always been and will continue to be," said True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht.

TTV, the nation's leading voters' rights organization, filed with the IRS for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in July 2010 and has been awaiting a decision on its application for more than three years. After discovering in May, 2013, that its application was part of a much larger scheme targeting perceived 'tea party' organizations for heightened scrutiny and years of delay in processing their applications, TTV filed suit in federal district court in Washington, D.C. requesting that the Court order that its tax-exempt status be granted. ActRight Legal Foundation, a 501(c)(3) a fundamental rights public interest law firm, represents True the Vote in the lawsuit (True the Vote v. United States of America (Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-00734-RBW)) 
.
In addition, DOJ is arguing to the Court that since the IRS is now willing to grant TTV's tax exempt status, the lawsuit should be dismissed as 'moot'.  

Cleta Mitchell, lead counsel in the litigation, and a partner at Foley & Lardner, LLP in Washington, DC, responded to the DOJ filings by noting, "While we are glad the IRS has realized TTV's tax exempt status should be granted and is now moving to rectify its failure to do sooner, this case is far from moot. There are still many questions to be answered, such as:
  • When is the IRS going to actually issue its letter granting tax exempt status to True the Vote?
  • What about the costs and damages incurred by True the Vote for the past three years while the IRS unlawfully delayed issuing the letter of recognition?
  • What about all of the confidential and proprietary information sought and demanded from True the Vote that the Treasury Inspector General has stated was not necessary for determining True the Vote's eligibility for exempt status, and which is now apparently going to be made public?
  • What about the violation of True the Vote's constitutional rights by the IRS and its agents and employees during the course of these last 3 years?
"This lawsuit is about getting to the truth and we are not going to stop until we find out the answers to these and many other questions," added Ms. Mitchell.
         
"If the IRS is right in its arguments that the IRS can violate the citizens' constitutional rights and there is no 'check' on its power to do so, then the American people need to know that. I cannot believe, as an American citizen, that the IRS is above the law and I refuse to accept that a citizen has no remedy against the IRS for the kinds of things it has done to our group these past three years. This case is just getting started," concluded Ms. Engelbrecht.

True The Vote (TTV) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit grassroots organization focused on preserving election integrity is operated by citizens for citizens, to inspire and equip volunteers for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visit www.truethevote.org.

Voto Honesto (TTV) es una organización sin fines de lucro, no partidaria, enfocada en preservar la integridad en las elecciones y operada por ciudadanos para ciudadanos, ara inspirar y equipar a voluntarios para envolverse en cada una de las etapas del proceso electoral. TTT capacita a organizaciones e individuos a través de la nación para activamente proteger los derechos de los votantes legítimos, sin importar a que partido político perteneces. Para más información, por favor visite  www.votohonesto.org.       

ActRight Legal Foundation protects the fundamental rights of individuals and charities to pursue their callings. To learn more, visit www.actrightlegal.org.  
 
Press Release (PDF)  
9/20/2013 DOJ Motion to Dismiss (Scribd)
7/22/2013 TTV Amended Filed Complaint (Scribd)

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