The U.S. Treasury said on Monday that it will no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations including politically active nonprofit groups, such as the National Rifle Association and Planned Parenthood, to identify their financial donors to U.S. tax authorities.
The policy change, heralded by conservatives as an advance for free speech, maintains donor disclosure requirements for traditional charity groups organized to receive tax-exempt donations under a section of the Internal Revenue code known as 501(c)(3), the Treasury said.
But the move frees labor unions, issue advocacy organizations, veterans groups and other nonprofits that do not receive tax-exempt money from meeting confidential disclosure requirements set in place decades ago.
“Americans shouldn’t be required to send the IRS information that it doesn’t need to effectively enforce our tax laws, and the IRS simply does not need tax returns with donor names and addresses to do its job in this area,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
The change protects the privacy of wealthy donors of “dark money” donations to politically active groups. Conservatives have complained that the disclosures to the IRS, though not public, were susceptible to media leaks.
The issue of the IRS’s handling of nonprofit political groups exploded into headlines several years ago when the federal tax agency was found to have targeted tax-exempt political groups aligned with the conservative Tea Party movement for greater scrutiny.
“It is important to emphasize that this change will in no way limit transparency,” Mnuchin said. “The same information about tax-exempt organizations that was previously available to the public will continue to be available, while private taxpayer information will be better protected.”
Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Leslie Adler
Trump has ‘started to sound desperate’ as election nears: Fox News politics editor
Breaking from the normal Fox News pack that lavishes praise on Donald Trump, political editor Chris Stirewalt penned an editorial for the conservative network's website saying the president increasingly appears to be desperate as the November election nears.
As Stirewalt notes, in 2016 Trump ran like a man who didn't care if he won or he lost and that was part of his appeal as a novice politician. Pointing out that politicians of any stripe who indulge in "the say anything, do anything, ends-justify-the-means approach to politics" is "queasy making" he adds that Trump has entered that stage of his political career.
Kamala Harris to Trump: Out of my way
We knew it was coming. Just listen to the racist, birtherist gibberish that came out of Trump's mouth only 48 hours after Joe Biden announced that he had picked Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate on Tuesday.
This article first appeared in Salon.
"I heard it today that she doesn't meet the requirements," Trump said of Harris at his so-called coronavirus briefing on Thursday, questioning her eligibility under the Constitution to run for office. "I have no idea if that's right. I would have thought, I would have assumed, that the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president."
Newsweek walked back birther attack on Kamala Harris after staff revolt: report
According to a report from the Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove, newsmagazine Newsweek was forced to walk back an editorial written by a conservative lawyer that questioned whether Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was eligible to run for vice president on the ticket with former Vice President Joe Biden.
The op-ed, written by Chapman University law professor John C. Eastman, headlined “Some Questions for Kamala Harris About Eligibility” set off a firestorm that only grew more when Donald Trump discussed it at a press conference and suggested there might be some truth to it.