The Financial Costs of Civil Rights Leadership

Martin Luther King Jr. is an American and global civil rights icon. His impact has reverberated for decades and will continue to do so. He is a man that made a difference.

But as a civil rights leader and a family man, he had bills. Something not often talked about. People needed to stay in hotels, lawyers in certain cases had to be paid. His children needed food, clothing and a home to sleep in.

Even today that’s the case for civil rights leaders and organizations. The fight for civil rights cost money. Both for it’s leadership and the overall organization.

So TaxAssurances put together a list of expenses that may show up on a non profit civil rights organization’s 990 tax form or expenses they simply have to pay to move the purpose of their organization forward.

Here is that list:

  • airline tickets
  • cabs/taxis
  • hotels
  • meals
  • conference/convention fees
  • cell phone
  • employee salaries
  • office rent
  • office phone
  • electric bill
  • office supplies
  • office paper
  • office ink
  • subscriptions to publications
  • computer equipment
  • office furniture
  • bail money
  • subcontractor payments/professional contract services
  • attorney’s fees
  • research staff
  • court fees
  • accountant’s fees
  • media training
  • public relations consultant
  • insurance
  • postage and shipping expenses
  • printing, duplication and artwork for flyers and other marketing material
  • donated materials and services
  • misc. expense
  • Oh yeah, and family expenses

So as we celebrate the life of an American treasure, it’s worth noting the real dollar costs that were laid out for his efforts. Efforts on so many levels that were not free.

Artist: Derek Russell
Titled: MLK
Media: oil on board
Size: 12″x16″
Painted in 2013
Commissioned and Collected by GSV Capital
Art Exhibited at the GSV Gallery in Woodside, CA

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Your Rights In Dealing With the IRS

QA_7427085Recently, the IRS released a “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.” They came up with the Bill of Rights to give taxpayers a clear understanding of what their rights were in dealing with the IRS.

Here they are:

The Right to Be Informed

Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. They have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcomes.

The Right to Quality Service

Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.

The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax

Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.

The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard

Taxpayers have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with their position.

The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum

Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, and have the right to receive a written response regarding the Office of Appeals’ decision. Taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court.

The Right to Finality

Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS’s position as well as the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt. Taxpayers have the right to know when the IRS has finished an audit.

The Right to Privacy

Taxpayers have the right to expect that any IRS inquiry, examination, or enforcement action will comply with the law and be no more intrusive than necessary, and will respect all due process rights, including search and seizure protections and will provide, where applicable, a collection due process hearing.

The Right to Confidentiality

Taxpayers have the right to expect that any information they provide to the IRS will not be disclosed unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law. Taxpayers have the right to expect appropriate action will be taken against employees, return preparers, and others who wrongfully use or disclose taxpayer return information.

The Right to Retain Representation

Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in their dealings with the IRS. Taxpayers have the right to seek assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic if they cannot afford representation.

The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System

Taxpayers have the right to expect the tax system to consider facts and circumstances that might affect their underlying liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely. Taxpayers have the right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service if they are experiencing financial difficulty or if the IRS has not resolved their tax issues properly and timely through its normal channels.


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