WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued the following statement after the Treasury Department and IRS announced that the IRS will no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations to file personally-identifiable information about their donors.
“Free speech is a foundational principle of our country which is why I’m encouraged by this announcement from the Department of Treasury on tax-exempt organizations. For years, Members of the Ways and Means Committee have fought for an IRS that is accountable to the taxpayer and does not target or single-out any person or entity based on their political beliefs. I applaud the Trump Administration for strengthening First Amendment protections and prioritizing personal freedom and privacy with this action.”
The Schedule B of a tax-exempt group’s annual return requires sensitive taxpayer information—information not needed by the IRS for tax administration purposes. For years, the IRS has been putting taxpayers at risk by collecting unnecessary personally identifiable information. The needless annual reporting also placed an increased burden on non-profit entities.
The Committee has an extensive history on preventing the IRS abuse of taxpayer information. Here is a sampling of past Committee activity on this subject:
Ways and Means announces hearing on IRS Targeting Conservative groups (May 2013) https://waysandmeans.house.gov/camp-ways-and-means-committee-will-hold-a-hearing-on-irs-targeting-conservative-groups/
Letter to IRS to cease targeting taxpayers for their political beliefs (August 2013) https://waysandmeans.house.gov/camp-boustany-demand-irs-cease-practice-of-targeting/
Ways and Means refer Lerner to DOJ for criminal prosecution (April 2014) https://waysandmeans.house.gov/ways-and-means-committee-refers-lois-lerner-to-department-of-justice-for-criminal-prosecution/
Timeline of Ways and Means work to combat IRS targeting (June 2014) https://waysandmeans.house.gov/timeline-of-the-irss-abuse-of-conservatives/
Rep. Roskam (R-IL) and then-Chairman Ryan (R-WI) introduce bill to combat political targeting (January 2015) https://waysandmeans.house.gov/roskam-and-ryan-introduce-bill-to-stop-political-targeting-by-irs/
House passage of Rep. Roskam bill (June 2016) https://waysandmeans.house.gov/passed-house-roskam-bill-protect-taxpayer-information-stop-irs-political-targeting/