A group of prominent U.S. economists and legal scholars say they’re not exempt from paying income tax.
The economists have filed a petition with the Internal Revenue Service seeking to be exempt from federal income tax on their salary.
The petition, filed Tuesday with the IRS, also seeks to exempt some other compensation they received from the stvros fiscal intermediaries.
The Stavros Fiscal Importers group is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 to help small businesses.
They received about $3 million from the IRS last year, according to tax documents.
Stavro Financial Services Inc., which is a stvro fiscal intermediary, received $1.9 million from federal taxpayers last year.
The group said its goal is to provide small businesses with tax advice, training and other services.
The IRS said it could not comment on the tax filing.
Stvros Fiscal Intermediaries spokesman Andrew Bostock said the group has been in existence since 1997.
He said that the group received funding from Stavrot, a private equity firm that also helps small businesses raise capital.
Stevros Financial Services, which is owned by the private equity firms Cerberus Capital Management and Golden State Capital Partners, also has a subsidiary, Stavrros, which provides investment services to investors.
“We are very proud of our history of providing financial advice to small businesses,” Bostocks told The Associated Press in an email.
“The Stavs Fiscal Importer group is one of the largest providers of this type of advice in the U.K., Europe and around the world.”
A spokeswoman for the IRS said the agency was unaware of the petition.
She said the IRS does not comment publicly on pending litigation.
Stravros declined to comment.
The Treasury Department said it is reviewing the petition, but it said it will not require the group to pay income tax because it is exempt from the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
The government said it was not exempt because the Stavrol group provides some financial services that the government provides.
The groups main goal is not to raise money for political purposes, spokeswoman Lauren Gentry said.
“They are not political organizations, and we have no reason to believe that they have ever done anything that would be improper under the tax code,” Gentry wrote in an e-mail.
“Their focus is to offer free advice and other financial services to small business owners.
The Tax Code does not require that they do anything that is illegal.”
A spokesperson for Stavratos Fiscal Imperssion, an independent investment firm that has raised $1 billion since its founding in 1996, said it does not pay income taxes.
“While we cannot comment on pending tax litigation, the firm is an independent, tax-exempt entity and does not make decisions based on political campaigning,” said spokeswoman Amy Gartman.
She added that the firm receives funds from Stravrot.
“Stavros is one among many independent investment firms that provide financial services for small businesses across the U, as we do not engage in political activity or pay any special fees or expenses to political candidates or political committees,” Gartwoman wrote.
The stvrot fiscal intermediary compensation has raised questions in Congress about whether the government is improperly targeting small businesses for extra tax money.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has led a bipartisan group of senators in calling for an end to the income-tax mandate, which requires businesses to pay a tax on the income of employees.
The income tax is designed to make up for the lost revenue from the Affordable Health Care Act, which has hurt some small businesses, and to make sure the government can keep its promises.
The law created a tax credit for businesses with more than 50 employees.
But that credit was designed to cover payroll taxes and other costs not covered by the mandate.
The tax credit is capped at $2,000 for each employee.
Some businesses say the tax credit was so small that they could not afford to pay it.
The issue was particularly contentious in 2014 when a group of small businesses filed a lawsuit challenging the mandate, arguing that the credit was being used to subsidize large companies that were charging workers more.
Wyden has said he wants to reform the tax system so that businesses don’t pay so much tax that they can’t pay it at all.
“I’m glad we are now at a point where we are not going to have a small business tax credit,” Wyden said in a speech last year to the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
The lawsuit also questioned whether companies that had not met the Affordable Healthcare Act’s health care requirements could be subject to a higher tax.