The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday they are issuing initial guidance regarding qualification requirements for tax-exemption as a social welfare organization under Section 501(c)(4) of the Tax Code after a scandal erupted earlier this year over claims that the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status. 

The proposed guidance defines the term “candidate-related political activity,” and would amend the current regulations by indicating that the promotion of social welfare does not include this type of activity.  The proposed guidance also seeks initial comments on other aspects of the qualification requirements, including what proportion of a 501(c)(4) organization’s activities must promote social welfare.

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