The IRS Scandal: Who Gets Tax-Exempt Status?

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IRS Headquarters in Washington, DC
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The IRS scandal continues to plague the Obama Administration. At a press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday, President Obama expressed his own outrage. "It’s inexcusable and Americans are right to be angry about it and I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS," he told reporters. 

In part because of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 2010 Citizens United case, applications for tax-exempt status have increased dramatically over the past few years, from 1,751 in 2009 to 3,357 in 2012. Kenneth Gross, election law expert at the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and former counsel to the Federal Election Commission, explains the qualifications for tax-exempt status, and the political benefits.