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May 15 2018

IWF Joins Coalition Urging IRS Rulemaking on Donor Privacy/Elimination of Schedule B Form Filing Requirement

In a letter sent today, a coalition of more than 60 influential organizations and individuals called on President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to protect First Amendment freedoms of speech and association, and help prevent further targeting of nonprofit organizations and their donors on the basis of ideology.  The letter specifically urges them to encourage an IRS rulemaking to eliminate the Schedule B form filing requirement for 501(c) exempt organizations.

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May 15, 2018

 

The Honorable Donald Trump

Office of the President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20006

 

The Honorable Steven Mnuchin

Office of the Secretary of the Treasury

Department of the Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20220

 

Dear President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin:

On behalf the undersigned individuals and organizations representing millions of concerned taxpayers across America, we write regarding an issue of utmost importance: preventing further Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting of nonprofit organizations on the basis of ideology, and protecting the First Amendment freedoms of speech and association of those organizations by eliminating IRS collection of sensitive information on their donors.

Specifically, we are asking you to do everything you can to encourage the IRS to initiate a rulemaking to eliminate the Schedule B form filing requirement for 501(c) exempt organizations.

As you are well aware, recent years have witnessed an increase in assaults against First Amendment free speech and association rights. In numerous instances, the IRS has collected and leaked sensitive identifiable information regarding contributors to 501(c) organizations contained in the IRS "Schedule B" form that is supposed to remain confidential. Moreover, the Schedule B form and confidential donor information contained therein have been demanded and used by other government officials, specifically hyper-partisan state attorneys general, to harass and intimidate organizations and individual donors that do not share their ideological and political beliefs.

The IRS itself has acknowledged that Schedule B information is irrelevant to the legally permissible handling of tax filings by 501(c) organizations. Indeed, both the previous IRS Commissioner and IRS Exempt Organizations Director made public statements in 2015 questioning the need for the Schedule B form and intimated the IRS could not guarantee the confidentiality of the information being provided.

Earlier this year, Congress introduced the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, H.R. 4916, which mirrors legislation passed by the House of Representatives in the last Congress that eliminates the Schedule B filing requirement. While a permanent legislative fix like H.R. 4916 would be ideal, Congress’ ongoing failure to act has left nonprofit organizations and their donors vulnerable to further targeting, thus justifying action by the Administration.

In the absence of legislation, the IRS can and should initiate a rulemaking to eliminate the Schedule B requirement, thereby preventing IRS officials and activist state attorneys general from exploiting the confidential information to target groups and individual Americans with whom they politically disagree.

Such a rulemaking is well within the IRS’s prerogative. Congress never adopted the Schedule B donor disclosure requirement for most exempt 501(c) organizations. Yet the disclosure requirement applies today to all exempt organizations, as the Treasury Department and IRS made the decision independently of Congress to require the filing of Schedule B as part of the Form 990 annual information return of all exempt organizations.

Mr. President and Mr. Secretary, there is simply no justification for the IRS to continue using Schedule B to collect sensitive data on Americans who simply seek to exercise their First Amendment free speech and free association rights. We stand united in our efforts to eliminate the Schedule B and respectfully urge you to exercise your authority to encourage an IRS rulemaking as soon as possible to accomplish that goal.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jeffrey Mazzella

President

Center for Individual Freedom

 

Lisa B. Nelson

CEO

ALEC Action

 

Michael Farris

President, CEO and General Counsel

Alliance Defending Freedom

 

Allen J. Hebert

President & Chairman

American-Chinese Fellowship of Houston

 

Phil Kerpen

President

American Commitment

 

Matt Schlapp

Chairman

American Conservative Union

 

Sean Noble

President

American Encore

 

Tim Wildmon

President

American Family Association

 

Grover Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

 

Steve Pociask

President

American Consumer Institute

Center for Citizen Research

 

Brent Wm. Gardner

Chief Government Affairs Officer

Americans for Prosperity

 

Mark J. Fitzgibbons

President of Corporate Affairs

American Target Advertising, Inc.

 

Andrew F. Quinlan

President

Center for Freedom and Prosperity

 

Olivia Grady

Senior Fellow

Center for Worker Freedom

 

Thomas Schatz

President

Citizens Against Government Waste

 

Chuck Muth

President

Citizen Outreach

 

Cleta Mitchell, Esq.

Attorney for Nonprofit Organizations

 

Kent Lassman

President

Competitive Enterprise Institute

 

Penny Nance

President and CEO

Concerned Women for America

 

Matthew Kandrach

President

Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

 

Ron Pearson

Executive Director

Conservative Victory Fund

 

Katie McAuliffe

Executive Director

Digital Liberty

 

Rebekah Gantner

Executive Director

Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund

 

Grant Callen

President

Empower Mississippi

 

Gary Marx

Former Executive Director

Faith and Freedom Coalition

 

Paul Weber

President & CEO

Family Policy Alliance

 

George Landrith

President

Frontiers of Freedom

 

Jonathan Bechtle

Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel

Foundation for Government Accountability

 

Brian Minnich

Executive Vice President

Freedom Foundation

 

Nathan Nascimento

Executive Vice President

Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

 

Adam Brandon

President

FreedomWorks

 

Victor Riches

President & CEO

Goldwater Institute

 

Christopher L. Carmouche

Executive Director

GrassTopsUSA

 

Mario H. Lopez

President

Hispanic Leadership Fund

 

Carrie L. Lukas

President

Independent Women's Forum

 

Heather R. Higgins

CEO

Independent Women's Voice

 

Andrew Langer

President

Institute for Liberty

 

Tom Giovanetti

President

Institute for Policy Innovation

 

Samuel B. Casey

General Counsel

Jubilee Campaign

 

Dave Trabert

President

Kansas Policy Institute

 

Seton Motley

President

Less Government

 

Mathew D. Staver, Esq.

Founder and Chairman

Liberty Counsel

 

Gregg Keller

Chairman

Missouri Century Foundation

 

Chris W. Cox

Executive Director

National Rifle Association

Institute for Legislative Action

 

Pete Sepp

President

National Taxpayers Union

 

Ed Martin

President

Phyllis Schlafly Eagles

 

Lorenzo Montanari

Executive Director

Property Rights Alliance

 

Eli Lehrer

President

R Street Institute

 

James L. Martin

Founder/Chairman

60 Plus Association

 

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis

President

60 Plus Association

 

Karen Kerrigan

President & CEO

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

 

Tracie Sharp

President

State Policy Network

 

David Williams

President

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

 

Judson Phillips

President

Tea Party Nation

 

Jenny Beth Martin

President

Tea Party Patriots Foundation

 

Lynn Taylor

President

Tertium Quids

 

Robert Alt

President & CEO

The Buckeye Institute

 

Daniel Garza

President

The LIBRE Initiative

 

C. Preston Noell III

President

Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

 

Alan P. Dye

Partner

Webster, Chamberlain & Bean

 

Stephen T. Whelan

Chairman

The Witherspoon Institute

 

Dann Mead Smith

President

Washington Policy Center

 

Ron Robinson

President

Young America's Foundation

 

cc: Members of Congress

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IIndependent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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