ATR supports several bills that will protect taxpayers from being targeted by the IRS because of their political beliefs or affiliation. We urge members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to support this legislation.
The IRS has the power to designate groups as tax-exempt social welfare organizations provided they are primarily engaged in activities to promote the common good and general welfare of society. However their ability to impartially perform this responsibility has been called into question since it was revealed that they had inappropriately targeted conservative social welfare groups for scrutiny.
S. 273, sponsored by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and H.R. 599, sponsored by Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would make it a criminal offense for any IRS employee to willfully discriminate against groups based on their political beliefs or any policy statements made.
S.283, sponsored by Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) would roll back the IRS standards of definitions for “social welfare organizations” to January 1, 2010. The bill will also suspend any IRS rulemaking in this area until 2017.
These bills will help protect taxpayers from future IRS overreach. In the wake of the IRS targeting conservative groups based solely on their ideology, this legislation is needed now more than ever.