You are here

CEI Joins Coalition to Support the “Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act"

Coalition Letters

Title

CEI Joins Coalition to Support the “Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act"

Full Document Available in PDF

Dear Member,

As organizations that represent the interests of millions of taxpayers across the country, we write in support of H.R. 5053, the “Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act,” sponsored by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.). This legislation would eliminate the Schedule B form for 501(c) organizations, which includes identifiable information of contributors to 501(c) organizations. This information is irrelevant to the routine handling of 501(c) organization tax filings and will help make tax compliance easier, as well as further curb the ability of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to hinder free speech and civic participation among the public.  

This bill presents an opportunity to strengthen free speech protections in light of recent cases of intimidation and mishandling of private information by the IRS. It would be a win for organizations across the political spectrum. 

Free speech has been under assault in recent years and the IRS has been at the center of the controversy. In several well-documented cases, the agency leaked private and sensitive Schedule B information that should never have been made public. For example, the agency settled a lawsuit with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) after an IRS official emailed NOM's Form 990, Schedule B to the Human Rights Campaign, which then published it.

The revelations of leaked information, as well as evidence proving that the IRS selectively grouped organizations based on their names, policy positions, and perceived ideology to deny or delay requests for non-profit status, show that the fight for free speech is alive and very real.

Lawmakers must take every opportunity to keep the IRS in check, as the agency has been both derelict in its oversight and abusive with its power. H.R. 5053 will reduce the risks of continued abuse.

Some officials at the IRS have even supported ending the Schedule B form requirement for some 501(c) classifications.  For example, in December of 2015, it was reported that Tamara Ripperda, IRS Director of Exempt Organizations, discussed the potential for elimination of 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 clear that the Schedule B form requirement is not needed.  Therefore, we urge all members of the House of Representatives to support H.R. 5053 and eliminate the Schedule B form requirement for 501(c) groups.

Sincerely,

James L. Martin, Chairman
60 Plus Association

Melissa Ortiz, Founder & Principal
Able Americans 

Dan Greenberg, President
Advance Arkansas Institute

Caleb Crosby, President and CEO
Alabama Policy Institute

Colby May, Director and Senior Counsel
American Center for Law and Justice

Phil Kerpen, President
American Commitment

Dan Schneider, Executive Director
The American Conservative Union

George David Banks, Executive Vice President
American Council for Capitol Formation

Dan Backer, Chairman
American Dream Foundation

Gary L. Bauer President
American Values

Mark J. Fitzgibbons, President of Corporate Affairs
American Target Advertising, Inc.

Ernest Istook, President
Americans for Less Regulation

Rick Manning, President
Americans for Limited Government

Coley Jackson, President
Americans for Competitive Enterprise

Brent Wm. Gardner, Vice President of Government Affairs
Americans for Prosperity

Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform

Becky Gerritson, Founder
Born Free American LLC

Norm Singleton, President
Campaign for Liberty

Linwood Bragan, Executive Director
CapStand Council for Policy and Ethics

Alfred J. Lechner, Jr., President and CEO
Cause of Action Institute

Andrew F. Quinlan, President
Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Jeffrey Mazzella, President
Center for Individual Freedom

Matt Patterson, Executive Director
Center for Worker Freedom

Twila Brase, President and Co-founder
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom

David Bossie, President
Citizens United

Michael Bowen, Co-Chairmen
Stephani Scruggs, Co-Chairmen
Coalition for a Strong America

Nathan A. Benefield, Vice President of Policy
Commonwealth Foundation

Nick Dranias, President & Executive Director
Compact for America Educational Foundation, Inc.

Kent Lassman, President
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Jae Pak, President
Concerned Veterans for America

Herbert W. Titus, Senior Counsel
Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund

Shaun McCutcheon, Chairman
Coolidge Reagan Foundation

Tom Schatz, President
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director
Digital Liberty

Paul Weber, CEO
Family Policy Alliance

William J. Olson, Legal Counsel
Free Speech Coalition

Thomas P. Kilgannon, President
Freedom Alliance

Annette Meeks, CEO
Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Mark V. Holden, Chairman
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

Adam Brandon, CEO and President
FreedomWorks

George Landrith, President
Frontiers of Freedom

Andrew Clark, President
Generation Opportunity

Andresen Blom, Executive Director
Grassroot Hawaii Action

Michael A. Needham, CEO
Heritage Action for America

Ambassador Henry F. (Hank) Cooper, Chairman
High Frontier

Mario H. Lopez, President
Hispanic Leadership Fund

Wayne Hoffman, President
Idaho Freedom Foundation

Kristina Rasmussen, Executive Vice President
Illinois Policy Action

Sabrina Schaeffer, Executive Director
Independent Women's Forum

Heather Higgins, President & CEO
Independent Women's Voice

Thomas Pyle, President
Institute for Energy Research

Andrew Langer, President
Institute for Liberty

Tom Giovanetti, President
Institute for Policy Innovation

Sal J. Nuzzo, Vice President of Policy
The James Madison Institute 

Lisa B. Nelson, CEO
Jeffersonian Project

Dave Trabert, President
Kansas Policy Institute

Morton Blackwell, President
The Leadership Institute

Seton Motely, President
Less Government

Colin Hanna, President
Let Freedom Ring

Connor Boyack, President
Libertas Institute

K Carl Smith, Executive Director
Liberty Messenger USA

Daniel Garza, Executive Director
The LIBRE Initiative

Roman Buhler, Director
The Madison Coalition

Kyle Hauptman, Executive Director
Main Street Growth Project

L. Brent Bozell III, President
Media Research Center

Jason Jones, President
Movie to Movement

Willes K. Lee, President
National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Steve M. Antosh, General Counsel
National Pro-Life Alliance

Chris W. Cox
National Rifle Association

Pete Sepp, President
National Taxpayers Union

Paul Mero, President and CEO
Next Generation Freedom Fund

Alex-St. James, National Executive Director
One Day In America

Lorenzo Montenari, Executive Director
Property Rights Alliance

‪Rich Lowrie, Co-founder
Put Growth First

Andrew Moylan, Executive Director and Senior Fellow
R Street Institute

Derrick Hollie, President
Reaching America

Matthew Brooks, Executive Director
Republican Jewish Coalition

Paul Gessing, President
Rio Grande Foundation

Samantha Dravis, President
Rule of Law Defense Fund

Karen Kerrigan, CEO
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

Tracie Sharp, President
State Policy Network

David Williams, President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Judson Phillips, Founder
Tea Party Nation

Jenny Beth Martin, Co-Founder and President
Tea Party Patriots

Brooke Rollins, President
Texas Public Policy Foundation

C. Preston Noell III, President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Andrea S. Lafferty, President
Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, Founder and Chairman
Traditional Values Coalition

Michael Connelly, Executive Director
United States Justice Foundation

Christopher Prudhome, President
Vote America Now

Robert D. Thompson, Administrator
The Weyrich Lunch

Gerrye Johnston, Founder/CEO
Women for Democracy in America, Inc.

 

Signing on as an Individual:

Ted Baehr, Publisher, MOVIEGUIDE(R)

Hunter Lewis, co-founder of Cambridge Associates

Stephen Moore, Co-Founder

Committee to Unleash Prosperity

Nick Sorrentino, co-founder of Against Crony Capitalism