an independent Tea Party group in DuPage County, IL
The story of the IRS vs. Tea Parties has been all over the news. We are a typical Tea Party, started by concerned citizens who objected to both the Bush and Obama Administrations’ "bailing out" of private entities with tax dollars.
This is our story.
West Suburban Patriots (WSP) applied for non-profit status in the spring of 2011. We were subsequently caught in the IRS "trap" apparently designed to inhibit our activities. This took place during a period of 27 months when there were no determination letters sent out to any conservative organizations. It took over a year for WSP to receive our determination of status from the IRS. It was stressful operating under the uncertainty and it hampered some of our activities. It felt as if the IRS was just waiting around the corner to halt our organization or hit us with fines and penalties since we didn’t have the proper paperwork. It is frightening to realize that government agents can choose which laws to enforce, when, and against whom. When the law is not applied equally to everyone, then we are not subject to law but to the tyranny of men.
The IRS has become very oppressive to the point of tyranny. Americans FEAR this branch of the government, yet they are public servants who supposedly work for the American people.
Many new IRS agents are being hired to administer and monitor the new healthcare law. Given the targeting of not-for-profit conservative groups, we cannot trust the IRS to impartially and fairly oversee our healthcare. Will certain Americans receive "favored" treatment based on politics and move to the front of the line, while others do without?!
We fear this policy of discrimination originated at the highest levels of our government. We demand that any public servants involved be immediately removed from office, prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and denied any public pensions or benefits.
In addition, it is time to simplify our tax code; allow all groups to engage in unlimited, Constitutionally guaranteed, political speech; implement a FLAT tax or FAIR tax; and dramatically downsize the IRS. We fully expect our elected representatives to immediately take steps to implement these reforms.
• May, 2011: WSP submitted our application for non-profit status.
• June, 2011: Receipt was acknowledged by the IRS – our application would be complete no later 90 days from the date received.
• Around 120 days: We were told it was “in the pile.”
• February 2012: WSP participated in some nationwide conference calls hosted by volunteers to discuss difficulties groups were having with the IRS.
• March 14, 2012: Twelve Senators wrote to IRS Commissioner Shulman to inquire about the issue.
• June of 2012: WSP finally received a letter from the IRS dated June 18, 2012. It indicated WSP had to answer a series of questions and submit our response by July 9, 2012. Taking under consideration that Independence Day was within that timeframe, and US mail can take several days, we had about a week to organize our response.
• Several of the questions were political in nature. The IRS used employee time and resources to scour our website thoroughly – so thoroughly that they found one page on our website that (unknown to us) was designated "members only" access. WSP uses a website service that allows us to plug information into a template. The WSP policy is to keep the entire site open to the public. When the IRS informed us, we willingly opened up that page for access.
• On June 29, 2012 WSP submitted our response to the IRS queries.
• In July 2012 WSP received the IRS Determination Letter granting 501(c)(4) not for profit status, effective date April 26, 2011 (the date of WSP incorporation).
ABOUT WEST SUBURBAN PATRIOTS:
• WSP’s mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.
• WSP is a registered 501(c)(4), and an Illinois Bona Fide State Civic Organization. This designation allows us to put forth people to become voter registrars and renew their commissions.
• WSP hosts a monthly Patriot's Breakfast with guest speakers
• WSP has distributed almost 6,000 pocket Constitutions in the past 3.5 years • WSP holds food drives for the Salvation Army pantry 2x per year
• WSP registers voters at various events
• WSP leads non-partisan Get Out the Vote efforts. We created and distributed non-partisan voter guides. One year we handed out free packaged donuts at train stations with stickers reading, "This donut is free and so are we -- Preserve our freedom -- VOTE!"
To learn more, check out our website: WestSuburbanPatriots.com