The Cost of Government Center's Executive Director Mattie Duppler and I sent a letter to Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., in support of his bill, the Access to Court Challenges for Exempt Status Seekers Act (ACCESS). The bill aims to limit some of the authority the IRS has in determining which organizations are eligible for 501 (c)(4) status.
The following is excerpted from the letter:
An ongoing investigation has revealed the IRS unfairly targeted conservatively aligned organizations from 2010 to 2013. Within that time, right-leaning groups that applied for 501 (c)(4) status faced more scrutiny than their liberal-leaning counterparts, including receiving requests for identification of group donors. Some of these groups waited upwards of two years for the IRS to act on their applications while the agency drew out its investigation.
Under the current law, groups seeking 501 (c)(4) designation are entirely at the mercy of an overreaching federal agency. The IRS should not have the authority to decide which organizations have the right to fully exercise their first amendment rights. The recent revelations about how the IRS has abused this power in the past have demonstrated that the agency has too much latitude to restrict Americans' participation in the public sphere.
The ACCESS bill will limit this power by allowing groups seeking (c)(4) status the same recourse available to groups applying for (c)(3) status. After nine months, groups would be able to advocate for themselves in Tax Court if the IRS takes too long to act on their applications.
This bill provides necessary oversight of IRS actions and is an important step
towards reigning in an agency that has overstepped its bounds for too long. We
urge your colleagues to support your bill, the Access to Court Challenges for
Exempt Status Seekers Act.
Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform, a coalition of taxpayer groups, individuals, and businesses opposed to higher taxes at the federal, state, and local levels. The coalition organizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to oppose all tax increases. Read more reports from Grover Norquist — Click Here Now.
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