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IRS Denied Non-profit Status to Free State Project

IRS Denied Non-profit Status to Free State Project

3 Mins
May 20, 2013

Aaron Day

Aaron Day, CEO of The Atlas Society, interviews Jason Sorens on the IRS's denial of non-profit status to the Free State Project . Sorens states that the Free State Project applied to the IRS for 501-c3 status in 2003. The organization's application was initially denied in 2004. It later applied for 501-c4 status and was denied either in 2007 or 2008. "We provided them a great deal of evidence," says Sorens, " that we're not [a political] action organization, we don't endorse candidates, we don't even lobby, we don't endorse issue positions. All we're doing is promoting New Hampshire as a destination for those who are philosophically pro-liberty." He adds: "So it seems very clear to us that we are a social welfare organization, that is, an organization dedicated to the collective benefit of a certain group of people, and not an action organization, but the IRS didn't share that view. So we do not have that tax-exempt status."  (Fast-forward to 3:20 for discussion of this issue.)

About Jason Sorens (bio from the Mercatus Center website ):
Jason Sorens is an assistant professor in the political science department at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). He has been an affiliated scholar with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University since 2008. His primary research interests include fiscal federalism, public policy in federal systems, secessionism, and ethnic politics. His work has been published in International Studies Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Peace Research, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, and other academic journals, and his book Secessionism: Identity, Interest, and Strategy was published by McGill-Queen¹s University Press in 2012. Sorens received his BA in economics and philosophy, with honors, from Washington and Lee University and his PhD in political science from Yale University.

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Law / Rights / Governance