Why Don't Some White Supremacists Groups Pay Taxes?
Emory Law Journal Online, Forthcoming
22 Pages Posted: 5 May 2017 Last revised: 3 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 1, 2017
A number of white supremacist groups enjoy tax-exempt status. As such, these hate groups do not have to pay federal taxes and people who give money to these groups may take deductions on their personal taxes. This recognition not only results in potential lost revenue for government programs, but it also serves as a public subsidy of racist propaganda and operates as the federal government’s imprimatur of white supremacist activities. This is all due to an unnecessarily broad definition of “educational” that somehow encompasses the activities of universities, symphonies, and white supremacists. This Essay suggests a change in the Treasury regulations to restrict the definition of educational organizations to refer only to traditional, degree-granting institutions, distance learning organizations, or certain other enumerated entities. With this change, we would no longer allow white supremacists to call themselves charities, remove the public subsidy of such reprehensible organizations, and eliminate the government’s implicit blessing of hate groups.
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