House Votes To Stop IRS From Collecting Nonprofit Donor’s Information

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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In a 240-182 vote, the House passed legislation preventing the Internal Revenue Service from collecting personal information of those donating to tax-exempt nonprofits Tuesday.

The Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act – spearheaded by House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman Peter Roskam – comes in the wake of the agency subjecting conservative organizations to intensive scrutiny based on their political ideology and leaking unauthorized donor information off tax forms.

Current policy IRS requires non-profits to submit a schedule B form listing the names and addresses of donors, which the IRS has said is unnecessary as it is not used for tax administration purposes.

“The legislation passed by the House today will give the American people ease of mind by blocking the IRS from collecting the names of donors to tax-exempt organizations—information the IRS could use to retaliate against organizations and donors it dislikes,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement. “The IRS has shown itself untrustworthy, and we should not allow the agency access to any information it does not need to do its job.”

Democrats have slammed the legislation, saying it intensify the effects seen from the 2010 Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United.

“The administration opposes this bill. In its Statement of Administration Policy, it states: ‘By permanently preventing the IRS from requiring reporting of donor information by 501(c) organizations, H.R. 5053 would constrain the IRS in enforcing tax laws and reduce the transparency of private foundations,” Ways and Means Ranking Member Sander Levin said on the House floor ahead of the vote.

Philip Ellender, the president of government and public affairs at Koch Companies Public Sector, said the bill is a common sense measure necessary to stop the assault on First Amendment rights.

“It begs the question ‘why does the government want this information?’ So that they can shame, harass and intimidate as they have done through the abusive power with the IRS,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “So passing this is a step in the right direction to get rid of that.”

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