A lack of common sense

The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill.: In the latest example of government bureaucracy affecting average people, hundreds of well-meaning nonprofit organizations throughout the Springfield area lost their federal tax-exempt status because of innocent mistakes or oversights involving tax paperwork.

There are 425 such affected organizations in Springfield — 20,000 in all of Illinois, according to the IRS — many of which were not aware they were on a list of automatic tax-exempt revocations until a reporter contacted them. The IRS did not notify them directly; instead, the agency posted a list on its website in July 2012.

Now the nonprofit groups are grappling with getting their status reinstated — something that’s proving to be a frustrating and time-consuming effort.

It would make better sense for the federal government to work with these nonprofits, most of which are run by volunteers who are more skilled at helping the community than they are in filing taxes.

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