Investigation: How Nonprofits Spend Millions on Elections and Call it Public WelfareQuicklink submitted by Amanda Lang Permalink
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|Forget super PACs, their much-hyped cousins, which can take unlimited contributions but must name their donors. More money is being spent on TV advertising in the presidential race by social welfare nonprofits, known as 501(c)(4)s for their section of the tax code, than by any other type of independent group. As of Aug. 8, they had spent more than $71 million on ads mentioning a candidate for president, according to estimates by Kantar Media's CMAG. Super PACs have spent an estimated $56 million. Congress created the legal framework for 501(c)(4) nonprofits nearly a century ago. To receive the tax exemption, groups were supposed to be "operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare." The IRS opened the door to some forms of political activity by interpreting the statute to mean groups had to be "primarily" engaged in enhancing social welfare...|
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