Today I called the IRS "verify a nonprofit" phone line (toll-free; 1-877-829-5500), spent half an hour on hold, then spoke with Cynthia, who said no, she couldn't find any record of the California Association of Business, Property and Resource Owners having tax exempt status.*
I asked, "are there any penalties for misrepresenting your group as a 501c4?" and this is where it got complicated. She said - and I'm repeating this from memory & somewhat fallible notes - that even though the group has no IRS Letter of Determination as a 501c4, it can still *call* itself a 501(c)(4) if it's organized and run in accordance with 501(c)(4) regulations.
"But how can anyone tell if they are?" I asked, and she answered that, well, if the IRS audits them, it can.
* Groups also legitimately wouldn't show up on the "tax exempt" list if they're "Subordinate units that are included in group exemption letters" (link) - so that's another Q to ask executive director Martin Light, if we can ever track him down. Was anyone able to stop by the CABPRO dinner at Penny's Diner last night (link)?
NCFocus posts labeled "CABPRO"