U.S. Congress: Reform Groups Call on Congress to Deal with Two IRS Scandals: Wrongful Targeting of Groups & Failure to Prevent Abuse of 501(c)(4) Status


Today, reform groups called on Congress to investigate and address both of the scandals at the IRS in order to prevent the same abuses from occurring in the future. The letter, sent to the full House and Senate, stressed the need to investigate the improper targeting of conservative groups and also emphasized that Members have a responsibility to investigate the abuses of the tax laws by some organizations in order to keep secret the donors financing their campaign activities.

At the heart of both current scandals, the letter stresses, are flaws in the existing IRS rules defining eligibility for section 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status. Those rules have been interpreted to permit 501(c)(4) groups to engage in substantial campaign activities, while the statute governing such groups explicitly states that they are required to engage “exclusively” in social welfare activities.

The organizations sending the letter included Americans for Campaign Reform, the Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, Demos, Public Citizen and Sunlight Foundation.

The read the letter sent to Senators, click here.

To read the letter sent to Representatives, click here.