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Legislation Prevents IRS Abuse and Protects Free Speech Rights for All Americans

With the support of Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge), the House of Representatives passed important legislation to protect the First Amendment right of all Americans to make donations to tax-exempt nonprofit groups without the fear of retaliation by politically motivated employees at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For years the IRS has been plagued by serious allegations of wrongdoing, including illegal targeting of conservative groups and violating constitutional rights, destroying documents, using personal emails to avoid freedom of information requests and to evade congressional inquiries, and breaching confidentiality of taxpayer records.

“Americans should expect public officials to administer the laws of our nation fairly to all citizens, regardless of political beliefs,” said Congressman Posey. “The IRS crossed the line and caused significant damage to the trust that is essential for the agency to carry out its function of collecting revenue.”

Specifically, the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act (H.R. 5053) protects taxpayer confidentiality by repealing the Schedule B requirement from the IRS 990 filing, thus prohibiting the IRS from requiring tax-exempt organizations to include donors’ identifying information on their annual tax returns. In the past IRS employees have “accidentally” leaked the personally identifiable information of conservative donors, most notably in 2013, when the National Organization for Marriage had its Schedule B form released by an unnamed IRS employee and published by Huffington Post. Posey said passage of H.R. 5053 will protect taxpayer confidentiality and eliminate the potential for future abuse.

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