Chairman Neal Calls for Immediate Oversight of Trump’s Unlawful Directive to Examine the Tax-Exempt Status of Select Universities and School Systems

Jul 15, 2020
Press Release

SPRINGFIELD, MA – In response to President Trump’s concerning tweets directing the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to examine the tax-exempt status of certain universities and school systems, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) called on both the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to conduct immediate oversight of Treasury’s response to the unlawful directive. Neal also asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide information on whether actions have been taken in response to the President’s tweets. 
President Trump tweeted: “Too many Universities and School Systems are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education. Therefore, I am telling the Treasury Department to re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status…and/or Funding, which will be taken away if this Propaganda or Act Against Public Policy continues. Our children must be Educated, not Indoctrinated!”
In letters to IRS Commissioner Rettig, Inspector General George, and Acting Inspector General Delmar, Neal detailed how under Section 7217 of the Internal Revenue Code: “it is unlawful for the President, the Vice President, and other Executive Branch employees to ‘request, directly or indirectly, any officer or employee of the Internal Revenue Service to conduct or terminate an audit or other investigation of any particular taxpayer.’ Section 7217 also states that ‘[a]ny officer or employee of the Internal Revenue Service receiving any request prohibited by [the foregoing] shall report the receipt of such request to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.’”
Neal asked the agencies to respond by July 22, 2020, with additional information on what, if any, actions Treasury has taken in response to the President’s directive and what steps TIGTA or OIG have taken to ensure Treasury does not act on the President’s unlawful demand.
Read the full text of the letter to the IRS HERE and the letter to TIGTA and OIG HERE.