NTF issue paper: cong207.doc. 9-21.

. The Obama Regime intentionally and maliciously used the IRS as a political weapon against conservative nonprofit groups, particularly those who actively opposed Regime initiatives. From 2010 through 2012, the Regime systematically targeted these conservative groups. The IRS demanded contributor personal information from many of these organizations, data which they subsequently admitted mistakenly requested. Requests by conservative groups for nonprofit status approved very slowly or rejected. The IRS acting chief quit during the subsequent scandal. The IRS officially apologized in 2017 under Republican leadership, when it reached settlements in two lawsuits stemming from the targeting. In one 2017 settlement, the IRS said the agency “admits that its treatment of Plaintiffs during the tax-exempt determination process, including screening their applications based on their names or policy positions, subjecting those applications to heightened scrutiny and inordinate delays, and demanding some Plaintiffs’ information that TIGTA determined was unnecessary to the agency’s determination of their tax-exempt status, was wrong.” President Trump issued an executive order in May, 2020 that prevented the IRS from targeting tax-exempt groups for their political leanings. He passed this rule to prevent the IRS from revealing donor private information, which leftist activists use to harass, intimidate, boycott, and physically assault conservative contributors. Since the stolen election, the IRS has done little to remedy the problem. A report by the Government Accountability Office warned that the IRS is still unfairly targeting non-profits “based on an organization’s religious, educational, political, or other views.”

. Conservative Sen. Mike Braun (IND.) introduced S. 1777, which codifies regulations established by the Trump Administration exempting specific tax-exempt groups from certain reporting requirements. The bill increases from $5,000 to $50,000 the gross receipts threshold used to determine eligibility of tax-exempt groups for exemption from specific disclosure and reporting requirements. His bill expands the definition of organizations to include tax-exempt charities and those with no significant activities relating to lobbying or political activity. S. 1777 exempts from disclosure the names and addresses of contributors to a group in annual informational returns and extends exemptions from reporting requirements to political action committees (527 organizations). Removing the requirement to report names and addresses of contributors protects taxpayer 1st Amendment rights. This information not needed for tax administration purposes. Said Braun, “We saw during the Obama years that the IRS was used as a political weapon to target conservative nonprofits, and under HR 1 the Biden IRS would be empowered to block tax-exempt status and publicly expose a group’s donors to harassment from liberal groups and the media if their beliefs are deemed to be politically unfavorable. This bill will prevent the IRS from being weaponized against conservatives like it was under President Obama.” The legislation will prompt the IRS to routinely approve conservative group requests for nonprofit status. In 2020, after the Trump rule finalized, the Institute for Free Speech estimated that nonprofits would save about $63 million annually in compliance costs, if this rule stood. Sen. Deb Fischer co-sponsors his bill.

. Avid supporters of the bill include Club for Growth, Americans for Tax Reform, and National Taxpayers Union. “To protect the interests of taxpayers, the IRS’s authority must have appropriate guardrails. The
Don’t Weaponize the IRS Act helps limit the agency’s ability to engage in politically motivated attacks against non-profit organizations. National Taxpayers Union is proud to endorse this legislation,” declared Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President.

. Conservative Rep. Mike Kelly (PA.) introduced a companion bill, HR 4889, in the House of Representatives. “Americans should be able to donate to causes they believe in without fear of retribution from Washington bureaucrats who have a long, sad history of targeting individuals and organizations because of their political beliefs,” said Kelly. NE Cong. Adrian Smith co-sponsors this bill.

. Socialist Democrats in Congress seek to repeal this Trump rule and target conservative groups and individuals with whom they disagree. HR 1, the Socialist Democrat bill that passed the House and is still pending in the Senate, would permit the IRS to block tax-exempt status and publicly expose group donors to harassment from radical groups and the media, if their beliefs believed politically unfavorable. HR 1 would allow partisan bureaucrats at the IRS to target nonprofit organizations based on applicant political and policy positions. The bill would force tax-exempt groups to report to the IRS the amounts of donations from their substantial donors along with names and addresses. It would permit the IRS to investigate and consider the political and policy positions of nonprofit organizations before granting tax-exempt status, which would enable IRS officials to target organizations engaging in 1st Amendment activity with anti-Biden Regime views. 38 Senate and 30 House Democrats sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, urging the agencies to reverse the Trump Administration decision to “eliminate disclosure requirements for certain tax-exempt organizations that engage in political activity, including 501(c)(4)s. Yellen has expressed openness to approving nonprofit donor disclosure. If the rule reversed, conservative organizations must disclose the amounts, names, and addresses of donors contributing over $5,000. Under current regulations, which the Trump Administration established in 2020, 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), and 501(c)(6) organizations not required to submit such information.

. Using the information above, contact Sen. Ben Sasse to co-sponsor and vote for S. 1777. Urge your representative to likewise support HR 4889 in the House. We must lobby to protect our free speech rights and stop targeting because of our political beliefs disclosed by our political contributions and opinions. No Nebraskan should fear harassment because of public disclosure of our identities and locations. Nebraskans must remain free from a federal dragnet collecting private information that it neither needs nor uses for legitimate law enforcement purposes. Stripping conservatives of their privacy makes it easier for leftists to monitor, intimidate, and silence people who join movements socialists oppose. There is no tax reason why the IRS needs personal contributor data from nonprofit groups. Do not permit the Biden Regime to continue the Obama Regime harassment of conservatives. Do not allow the Socialist Dems to use HR 1 as a political weapon against conservative nonprofits. Support the Don’t Weaponize the IRS Act, S. 1777.

Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom. This material copyrighted by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission granted for its use by other groups in the NE Conservative Coalition Network. 9-21. C

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