Media Matters tax-exempt status may face new scrutiny from Congress
Published: 12:58 AM 02/15/2012 | Updated: 1:34 PM 02/16/2012
Congressional Republicans are now interested in examining Media Matters For America‘s tax-exempt status, The Daily Caller has learned. Doing so would cause the GOP to wade into the complex world of tax laws that govern “exempt organizations” such as Media Matters and more than 1 million other charitable organizations that are exempt from federal income tax.
Media Matters’ critics have questioned its tax-exempt status for some time. The Internal Revenue Service has a series of requirements that must be met before organizations can qualify. Successful applicants pay no federal income tax because the government presumes such charities perform services that benefit the public. Donors also may deduct their charitable contributions.
One central requirement before an organization like Media Matters can achieve the gold-standard status — known by its place in the tax code, Section 501(c)(3) — is that it may not “attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities” or “participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.”