Follow Rep. Roskam’s lead in protecting the First Amendment and demand his IRS legislation gets a vote!
The “Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act” (H.R. 5053), which would prohibit the IRS from demanding those who donate to nonprofit charities reveal their identities in annual returns, was introduced in April by Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Illinois) but needs a floor vote in the House of Representatives.
“In the past, the IRS has improperly accessed and released to the public information from a tax-exempt organization Schedule B, most notably – in full discussion of this committee in the past – the National Organization for Marriage had its Schedule B leaked to the press in 2012,” Rep. Roskam said in a recent House Ways and Means meeting.
The legislation comes on the heels of a months-long saga in which former IRS executive Lois Lerner admitted to systematically targeting and slow-rolling the applications of tea partyers seeking tax-exempt, nonprofit status for their organizations – even now, IRS officials are stonewalling congressional investigation into the agency.
Donor information is required when nonprofits file their annual tax returns – even though the IRS acknowledges they do not need this information to do their job – with the promise that the names will remain confidential. We can no longer trust the IRS to administer the law equally or without prejudice.
Rep. Roskam’s bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from requiring 501(c) tax-exempt, non-profit organizations to reveal the identities of their donors in their annual tax returns. HR 5053 has passed through the Ways and Means Committee, and the next step is floor vote in the House of Representatives.
Co-sponsors include Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.); Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.); Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas); Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.); Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas); Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.); Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.); Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.); and Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.).
Please send the following urgent message to your representative to ask him or her to bring H.R. 5053 to the floor for a vote. Click here to sign the petition!
To the members of the U.S. House of Representatives:
The IRS has admitted to targeting conservative and tea party groups when they applied for 501(c) tax-exempt status, and to this day, no one has been held accountable, despite their admission. The IRS has also settled a lawsuit brought by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) for the unauthorized release of their donor information. In the settlement, the IRS acknowledges that they were the source of the confidential documents.
When American citizens can no longer trust the most powerful and feared agency in the United States; when Americans must worry that they will be harassed, bullied, and intimidated by their own government and others, simply for the beliefs they hold, we are no longer the freest nation on Earth.
Representative Roskam’s bill, HR 5053, will put an end to the IRS’ ability to leak confidential donor information for non-profit groups. With this bill, Americans can once again know their First Amendment rights are secure, and that they can give freely of their time and money to support causes and educational efforts that align with their values.
HR 5053 has already passed the Ways and Means Committee. It is now time to bring it to the floor for a full vote. I urge you to do whatever you can to bring this bill to the floor for a vote, and to vote yes once the vote occurs.
It is Congress’ responsibility to prevent this from ever happening again and to rein in the IRS. To make matters worse, no one in the IRS has been held accountable for what happened, and therefore, the only solution is to simply prevent the IRS from gaining access to donor information. Protect our First Amendment rights and bring HR 5053 to the floor for a vote!