Thank you for signing up to receive my email
newsletter. These newsletters will cover a variety of topics, including
events happening in Indiana, legislation being considered
in Congress, and my perspective on current issues. My
hope is to keep you updated and informed on how issues in Washington may impact Hoosiers. I welcome your
Thanks for reading,
Nonprofits Relief from IRS Delays
A flurry of scandal has recently surrounded
the Internal Revenue Service.
Over the past few months, we have learned about
missing emails from IRS employees and revelations of clear bias and hostility by a top IRS official toward
organizations with certain political beliefs.
This all comes on the heels of the IRS targeting
conservative groups – including at least one in Indiana – for extra scrutiny based on their
political leanings when the groups applied for status as 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations.
Given the power this agency possesses
over the lives of American citizens, it is imperative that the IRS be apolitical, above partisanship
and completely compliant with the law.
I have called for a special prosecutor
with subpoena power to investigate the IRS, as well as criminal penalties for IRS employees who violate
the constitutional free speech rights of Americans.
As congressional investigations continue
into recent IRS actions, Congress needs to take additional steps to restore the trust of the American
people in their government and provide a check on this powerful agency.
As one important step, I recently
introduced legislation that would provide a much-needed avenue of relief for groups whose applications
for tax-exempt status are languishing at the IRS.
Last year, a scathing Inspector General
report revealed that many groups seeking 501(c)(4) status had waited three years or more for a decision
from the IRS, while being subjected to intrusive interrogation about donors, political beliefs and positions
on policy issues.
Currently, groups seeking 501(c)(3)
status as a charity or foundation can ask the Tax Court for tax-exempt status through a declaratory judgment
if the IRS delays acting on their applications for nine months or more.
However, this right is not extended
to other groups like those seeking status as a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) social welfare organization.
Under current law, 501(c)(4) groups
must wait until the IRS makes an adverse decision, and then the group must start paying taxes as a for-profit
corporation before it can take the IRS to court.
There is no recourse at all if the
IRS simply refuses to act on their application, as it did during the recent targeting scandal.
Supported by Americans for Tax Reform and the
Cost of Government Center, my proposal – called the ACCESS Act – would extend the Tax Court
relief currently available in the 501(c)(3) context to groups seeking 501(c)(4) status or other tax-exempt
This commonsense reform, based on
a recommendation from the nonpartisan National Taxpayer Advocate, would give all groups asking for exempt
status equal access to a neutral referee when they face unconscionable delays from the IRS.
If there is one government agency that must avoid engaging in anything that can even remotely
be deemed political, it is the IRS. This agency has the power to destroy your reputation, your finances
and your business.
American taxpayers deserve the full
truth of what happened at the IRS, as well as the assurance that these abuses will never happen again.
My proposal will provide a meaningful
check on the IRS and allow groups to bypass IRS intransigence. Congress can and should take this important
step toward reforming the IRS.