Democracy 21, joined by the Campaign Legal Center, today urged the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government not to undermine the IRS’s ability to enforce existing tax laws as they seek to address the agency’s targeting of certain groups filing for 501(c)(4) tax status.

The letter to Chairman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), and Ranking Subcommittee Member Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY), and copied to the full Subcommittee, urged them “not to adopt any measures that would prevent or undermine the ability of the IRS to enforce the tax laws against groups that claim to be “social welfare” organizations under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, but primarily engage in campaign activities and use their improper claim of “social welfare” status in order to keep secret the donors funding their campaign expenditures.”

According to Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer:

In taking any steps to prevent the wrongful targeting of groups by the IRS in the future, it is essential that Congress not do anything to prevent or interfere with the proper enforcement of the tax laws against groups that have improperly claimed 501(c)(4) tax status.

There is compelling evidence that a number of groups abused the tax laws in the 2010 and 2012 elections by improperly claiming tax status as 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organizations in order to hide from the American people the donors financing their campaign expenditures. It is incumbent on the IRS to take action to hold these groups accountable for their abuses of the tax laws.

The letter is in response to published reports that stated, “the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee is holding a hearing next Monday, June 3, that is intended to examine “how the upcoming appropriations bills can help prevent the targeting” of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service.  B. Becker, “New IRS chief’s first hearing is Monday,” The Hill (May 28, 2013).



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