IRS: Nonprofit Regulation no Priority

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in Washington.

Coming off an election season in which groups that keep their donors hidden spent more than $300 million on political activity, the Internal Revenue Service has left the question of nonprofit regulation off its initial Priority Guidance Plan.

This is the plan that outlines the areas where the agency will focus its resources.

Lawmakers and advocacy groups have argued that “social welfare” groups such as Crossroads GPS, Priorities USA and Americans for Prosperity are misusing their tax-exempt status by spending millions on political ads and other activities designed to elect candidates, allowing million-dollar donors to keep their identities hidden.

“The IRS is abdicating its responsibility to the American people by failing to adopt new regulations and take the steps necessary to prevent the abuses that occurred in 2012 from occurring in future elections,” said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, which wrote a letter to the agency today arguing that nonprofit regulation should be a priority next year.

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