Willingness to Repeal Donor Disclosure Rule Signals IRS’ Permanent Intent to Ignore Its Own Rules

Statement of Public Citizen Experts

Note: The IRS has proposed new regulations to abandon a donor-disclosure requirement for some nonprofit groups after a July ruling from a federal judge said that the agency’s prior attempt to change the requirement violated federal rules.

“The IRS has the gall to suggest in the rulemaking proposal itself, that political corruption is not its concern.

“It should be the concern of the IRS – as it is the concern of every American.

“Currently, nonprofit organizations that engage in political activity must disclose to the IRS the names and addresses of significant donors. Though this information is not public, at least the IRS sees the names and addresses of donors, which discourages nonprofits from serving as laundromats for foreign money and other illegal contributions. In this era of increasing foreign meddling in our elections, the IRS is proposing to lift even its own scrutiny of these “dark money” electioneering groups. The combination of this rulemaking and the shutdown at the FEC gives bad actors the signal that they can interfere in our elections without much fear of consequence.”

– Emily Peterson-Cassin, project coordinator, Public Citizen’s Bright Lines Project –

“Today the U.S. Treasury Department takes U.S. campaign finance laws into even more fearful and corrupt territory. The same week that the Federal Election Commission lost its quorum and enforcement power through partisan political negligence, the Treasury Department has started a rulemaking that signals it will abandon its role in helping ensure the integrity of our elections, as well.

“The IRS is fond of reminding Americans that they must follow the rules. It is ironic then that the IRS didn’t follow its own rules.”

– Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist, Public Citizen –