May 15, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Targeted by the IRS
Family Talk Action Corporation is a Christian ministry that was formed for the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ; of providing Christ-oriented advice and education to parents and children; and of speaking to cultural issues that affect the family. Well known psychologist, author, and family advocate, James C. Dobson, Ph.D., serves as Family Talk Action’s President and CEO.
On September 2, 2011, Family Talk Action filed a Form 1024 with the Internal Revenue Service requesting § 501(c)(4) status. The attorney completing this form had submitted scores of similar applications over his 26-year career with none being rejected.
In January and February 2013, Family Talk Action’s counsel called the IRS reviewing agent, R. Medley (ID no. 52402), to inquire regarding when there would be a determination of the application. Her voicemail box was full on each of these calls so no message could be left. On March 6, he called Ms. Medley again and got routed to her voice mail again. This time, he was able to leave a voicemail message and requested a return call.
Ms. Medley did not call back until March 19. Family Talk Action’s attorney asked her when the IRS would issue its determination letter. Ms. Medley responded saying, I don’t think your Form 1024 (application for exemption) will be granted because Family Talk Action is “not educational” because it does not present all views. She continued, saying that Family Talk Action sounded like a “partisan right-wing group” because, according to Ms. Medley, it only presents conservative viewpoints. She then added, “you’re political” because you “criticized President Obama, who was a candidate.”
Family Talk Action had submitted a couple of sample radio programs upon request from the IRS. None were aired during an election year. It was the opinion of Family Talk Action’s legal counsel that these samples were not only § 501(c)(4) qualified but § 501(c)(3) qualified. Family Talk Action’s legal counsel had never heard an IRS agent express biased statements like those he heard during the March 19 call.
He also felt that this agent did not understand the difference between § 501(c)(3) and § 501(c)(4) entities and asked her to have the IRS issue its ruling. He then said, “if we have to litigate it, we will.” The IRS issued its determination letter nine days later granting the request for § 501(c)(4) status.
Family Talk Action’s President, Dr. James Dobson explained his release of this information stating: “The American people deserve better treatment from its government than this. Christian ministries and others supporting the family must not be silenced or intimidated by the IRS or other branches of the government.”
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