IRS7By M.D. Kittle| Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. — If you think the Internal Revenue Service’s persecution of conservative organizations has faded into an “inappropriate” past, the folks from theRock River Patriots would like to set the record straight.

“We are being totally overrun by an out-of-control government,” said Marvin Munyon, a director of the southern Wisconsin tea party group.


The Rock River Patriots, like so many other limited-government organizations applying for tax-exempt status, was given the administrative runaround for more than a year before Munyon, exasperated and “threatened,” threw up his hands and dropped the group’s pursuit of 501(c)(4) status.

Not only has the revenue agency demanded the small, grassroots organization pay hundreds of dollars in taxes owed while the Rock River Patriots worked through the onerous tax-exempt application process, the IRS is charging nearly as much in late payment fees, penalties and interest.


WORN OUT: Marvin Munyon, of the Rock River Patriots, a southern Wisconsin tea party group, said he grew weary of what he says was the “intimidation and threatening” behavior of the IRS in the battle for his nonprofit conservative group’s tax-exempt status.


Munyon said the group has no problem paying the $475 in taxes it owes as a taxable entity, for 2011 and 2012. They don’t mind picking up the $26 and change in interest owed on the back taxes. But the Patriots, which Munyon asserts theIRS originally targeted because of its tea party-sounding name, does take exception to the $300 plus in so-called “failure to file” fees and “failure to pay” penalties the IRS insists on assessing.

The Rock River Patriots were caught in an administrative Catch-22, as is so often the case at the IRS. Munyon in April 2012 applied for 501(c)(4) designation for the group, as a pending tax-exempt organization. The IRS cashed the group’s $400 application fee on May 2, 2012, according to documents.

Munyon was informed by letter in January 2013 that the IRS was delayed in reviewing applications for tax-exempt status, all the while the meter was running on the conservative organization’s tab with the IRS.

“It’s a terrible cat-and-mouse game,” Munyon said. “It gets almost overwhelming. It’s hard for me to keep it all straight,” he said of the voluminous correspondence, forms and hours upon hours of phone calls Munyon has dealt with during the past couple of years.

The IRS did offer a deal, Munyon said — an offer the limited-government advocate had to refuse.

An IRS agent in Ogden, Utah, informed Munyon that if he could pledge that the Rock River Patriots never violated an election law in the past, were not violating any such laws at present and would never do so in the future, the IRS would guarantee the group a favorable ruling on its tax-exempt status within two weeks.

“I said, ‘If you have not been able to grant us a favorable status in two years, how could you grant it to us in two weeks?’” Munyon said.  “Their comeback was that they ‘didn’t call to argue. We called you to help you.’”

Munyon said he didn’t want that kind of help from an agency now notorious for targeting conservative groups, flagging and delaying limited government nonprofits applying for tax-exempt status. Munyon, the leader of a small organization with limited resources, didn’t want to sign a document that could unwittingly land him in jail on perjury charges.

He said doesn’t believe the Rock River Patriots have ever done anything outside of the requirements of a tax-exempt status, but he has no idea what activities the government — particularly a federal government led by a liberal president — might deem unacceptable.

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