Institute Gets Exemption
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -
Several months ago the IRS was embroiled in a targeting scandal...accused of slowing the applications for non-profits that used words like "Patriot" or "Tea Party" in their title.
Now we have a follow-up to help wrap up a possible Arkansas connection to the scandal that we first told you about back in March.
It's been a long wait. And the wait has provided a little fodder for some bloggers.
But in the end the delay was just what Curtis Coleman's attorney thought it would be...a delay of the inevitable.
Little Rock attorney John Lessel has filed paperwork with the IRS for many non-profit organizations.
The fastest he seen the IRS grant tax-exempt status is six weeks. The longest has taken up to a year.
The application for the "Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy" was filed in February of 2012.
21 months later the tax exempt status was still in limbo. It is possible the word "Constitutional" in the title caused the IRS to target the application for a closer look.
"I've never been able to get any proof of anything along those lines," says Lessel. "I mean the IRS obviously wasn't going to say well we delayed your application because of the use of the constitutional name in your name so...no, I wasn't able to establish any positive link."
Last week the wait ended when a Determination Letter was received.
The IRS agrees that the mission of The Institute meets that which is required of a non-profit organization for federal income tax purposes.
"But at this point we're just happy to have it," says Lessel. "We're going to go on down the road and see what happens."
Lessel says Coleman's candidacy for governor also may have slowed the process.
The last set of IRS questions a few months ago focused on the separation of The Institute's mission and Coleman's political aspirations.
Air date: December 2nd, 2013