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'Modern Family' Star Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Nonprofit Targeted By IRS

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and fiancé Justin Mikita at the November 2012 launch of Tie the Knot. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images)
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The IRS wasn't just targeting conservative groups: A pro-gay marriage nonprofit founded by Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson was also singled out.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Ferguson's group, Tie the Knot, was flagged for extra scrutiny along with other organizations seeking social-welfare nonprofit status. That's a designation that allows them to engage in a limited amount of political activity, as long as it's not its sole purpose.

Tie the Knot sells designer bow ties, with proceeds going to fund awareness of gay rights, including gay marriage. It was founded in September 2012 by Ferguson and his fiancé, Justin Mikita. (Its mission statement: "To advocate for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans throughout the United States and to look damn good while doing it."

The IRS said these groups “unfortunately experienced inappropriate delays and over-expansive information requests in some cases.” Tie the Knot’s application for nonprofit status was approved in January 2013, according to the IRS website.

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The IRS declined to comment specifically on Tie the Knot and Ferguson doesn't plan to comment. It isn't clear how long the application was delayed by the extra scrutiny.

Ferguson, who plays Mitchell on the award-winning ABC comedy, regularly wears Tie the Knot bow ties. They also designed an official bow tie for the Tonys, natch.

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