CEI Joins Coalition Letter Supporting the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act

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Dear Congressman Roskam,

On behalf of millions of taxpayers across America, we write to endorse the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, H.R. 4916, and urge its swift passage. 

This important legislation, an identical version of which was passed by the House of Representatives last year, will help prevent future Internal Revenue Service (IRS) abuse and protect First Amendment freedoms of speech and association by eliminating the Schedule B form for 501(c) organizations that contain sensitive identifiable information on contributors to those 501(c) organizations. 

As acknowledged by the IRS itself, Schedule B information is inapplicable to the legally permissible handling of 501(c) organization tax filings.  Eliminating Schedule B will not only make tax compliance easier, but also help limit the ability of the IRS and others, including state officials with access to the information, to chill free speech and civic participation among the public. 

As you are well aware, First Amendment free speech and association rights have come under assault in recent years, with the IRS at the center of the misbehavior.  In multiple high-profile confirmed cases, the IRS has leaked sensitive, private Schedule B information that it had no right or business making public. 

As only one example, the agency agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) after an IRS official provided NOM’s Schedule B to the adversarial organization Human Rights Campaign, which proceeded to publish it.  Revelations of leaked information, in addition to instances in which the IRS targeted organizations on the basis of perceived ideology, policy positions and names to deny or delay approval of nonprofit legal status, demonstrate that the threat to freedoms of speech, association and petitioning of government are all too real. 

Congress must therefore take this opportunity as tax reform begins to strengthen First Amendment protections and prevent future IRS abuse, given the agency’s established record of negligent oversight and outright abuse of power.  The Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act would address those important goals, and constitute a victory for private citizens and organizations across the political spectrum. 

For their part, IRS officials have gone on record in support of eliminating the Schedule B form requirement for some 501(c) classifications. As reported, in December 2015, for example, IRS Director of Exempt Organizations

Tamara Ripperda addressed the possibility of eliminating the Schedule B:   

The IRS is considering eliminating Schedule B of the Form 990, which asks for the names and addresses of an exempt organization’s contributors and for certain information about contributions received.  Tax analysts reported that, at a program sponsored by the Urban Institute, Tammy Ripperda (Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS) questioned whether the IRS should ask for the names and addresses of contributors, given that this information is not made public, and whether there is a need for the information from a federal tax law enforcement standpoint. 

It is therefore clear that the Schedule B form requirement is unnecessary, and only perpetuates the possibility of abuse by IRS officials or outside wrongdoers, including state officials with access to the information.  Accordingly, we urge all Members of Congress to support H.R. 4916, legislation that will finally eliminate the Schedule B form requirement for 501(c) groups. 


Jeffrey Mazzella


Center for Individual Freedom


Leigh Hixon

Senior Director of Policy Relations

Alabama Policy Institute


Lisa B. Nelson


ALEC Action


Michael Farris

President, CEO & General Counsel

Alliance Defending Freedom


Phil Kerpen


American Commitment


Steve Pociask


American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research


Allen Hebert


American-Chinese Fellowship of Houston


Dan Schneider

Executive Director

American Conservative Union


Sean Noble


American Encore


Mark J. Fitzgibbons

President of Corporate Affairs

American Target Advertising, Inc.


Tim Wildmon


American Family Association


Brent Wm. Gardner

Chief Government Affairs Officer

Americans for Prosperity


Grover Norquist


Americans for Tax Reform


Brenda Baller


Baller & Co.


Rich Bott, President

Dick Bott, Founder

Bott Radio Network


Will Swaim


California Policy Center


Steve Buckstein

Senior Policy Analyst and Founder

Cascade Policy Institute


Andrew F. Quinlan


Center for Freedom and Prosperity


Olivia Grady

Senior Fellow

Center for Worker Freedom


Chuck Muth


Citizen Outreach


Twila Brase RN, PHN

President and Co-founder

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom


William L. Walton


CNP Action, Inc.


Dawn Wildman

Policy Director

Coalition for Policy Reform


Kent Lassman

President and CEO

Competitive Enterprise Institute


Dan Caldwell

Executive Director

Concerned Veterans for America


Penny Nance

President and CEO

Concerned Women for America 


Richard A. Viguerie




James N. Clymer

Vice President

Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund


Matthew Kandrach


Consumer Action for a Strong Economy


Ron Pearson


Council for America


Tom Schatz


Council for Citizens Against Government Waste


Katie McAuliffe

Executive Director

Digital Liberty


Rebekah Gantner

Executive Director

Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund


Tim Hoefer

Executive Director

Empire Center for Public Policy


Grant Callen


Empower Mississippi Foundation


Gary Marx

Former Executive Director

Faith and Freedom Coalition


Chad Connelly


Faith Wins


Paul Weber

President & CEO

Family Policy Alliance


James C. Dobson Ph.D.

Founder & President

Family Talk


Tarren Bragdon

Chief Executive Officer

Foundation for Government Accountability


Brian Minnich

Executive Vice President

Freedom Foundation


Nathan Nascimento 

Executive Vice President

Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce


Adam Brandon




George Landrith


Frontiers of Freedom


David Barnes

Policy Director

Generation Opportunity


Victor Riches

President & CEO

Goldwater Institute


Christopher L. Carmouche

Executive Director



Joseph R.Gregory

President and CEO

Gregory Management Company


Mario Lopez 


Hispanic Leadership Fund


John Tillman


Illinois Policy Institute


Carrie L. Lukas


Independent Women’s Forum


Heather R. Higgins

President and CEO

Independent Women’s Voice


Andrew Langer


Institute for Liberty


Kory Swanson

President & CEO

John Locke Foundation


Samuel B. Casey

General Counsel

Jubilee Campaign


Dave Trabert


Kansas Policy Institute


Seton Motley


Less Government


Connor Boyack


Libertas Institute


Mat Staver

Founder and Chairman

Liberty Counsel


Penny Pullen


Life Advocacy Resource Project


The Honorable Bob McEwen

U.S. House of Representatives Former Member,



L. Brent Bozell III

Founder and President

Media Research Center


Cleta Mitchell, Esq. 

Attorney for Nonprofit Organizations


Gregg Keller


Missouri Century Foundation


Brent Mead


Montana Policy Institute


Ted Baehr




Willes K Lee


National Federation of Republican Assemblies


Chris W. Cox

Executive Director

National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action


Pete Sepp


National Taxpayers Union


John A. Tsarpalas


Nevada Policy Research Institute


Jonathan Small


Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs


Sally C. Pipes

President and CEO

Pacific Research Institute


Caroline Lewis


Percipio Communications


Ed Martin


Phyllis Schlafly Eagles


Jim Vokal

Chief Executive Officer

Platte Institute


Lorenzo Montanari

Executive Director

Property Rights Alliance


Nancy Schulze

Founder, Republican Congressional Wives Speakers

Co-Chair, Congressional Prayer Caucus Wives Council


Joe Calvert


Rabon Calvert Interests


Mike Stenhouse


Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity


The Honorable Richard T. Schulze (R-PA)

Former Member of Congress


James L. Martin


60 Plus Association


Karen Kerrigan

President & CEO

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council


Tracie Sharp

President & CEO

State Policy Network


Kristan Hawkins


Students for Life of America


David Williams


Taxpayers Protection Alliance


Judson Phillips


Tea Party Nation


Jenny Beth Martin


Tea Party Patriots


Lynn Taylor


Tertium Quids


Robert Alt

President & CEO

The Buckeye Institute


Brett Healy


The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy


Daniel Garza


The Libre Initiative


Matthew Gagnon

Chief Executive Officer

The Maine Heritage Policy Center


Charles Sauer

Founder and President

The Market Institute


Stephen T. Whelan


The Witherspoon Institute


C. Preston Noell III


Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.


Bill Dallas


United in Purpose


Dann Mead Smith


Washington Policy Center


David A Keene

Editor at Large

Washington Times


Alan P. Dye


Webster, Chamberlain & Bean


Floyd Brown


Western Center for Journalism


J C White


Almont Homes


Somers H. White

Former Arizona State Senator