Philip Ellender, president of government and public affairs for Koch Industries, issued the following statement as the Senate considers a CRA disapproval resolution on IRS donor disclosure guidance:
“The Internal Revenue Service’s decision to eliminate the Schedule B donor reporting requirement this summer was a First Amendment victory for anyone who wants to make their voice heard without fear of intimidation or reprisal. Only a few years ago, we saw the IRS target certain individuals and groups for their political beliefs. This decision will safeguard against these serious abuses in the future.
“As the Senate considers a vote to curtail this IRS guidance in the name of transparency, it’s clear, however, that misperceptions about it persist. Some claim that the recent IRS guidance will allow some political groups to more easily shield their donors, making it more difficult for the public to see which individuals are donating to which organizations. The reality is that these now-exempt organizations will still have to maintain donor records in the case of audit or investigation. As Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated this past July: ‘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.’
“While this guidance affects well-funded organizations like Americans for Prosperity and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it more importantly eases the reporting burden and associated costs on groups such as volunteer fire departments who don’t have the same financial means. This is a commonsense, nonpartisan matter, as IRS commissioners under both Democratic and Republican presidents have felt this form unnecessary because it serves no legitimate function as a regulatory tool for the agency.
“Koch believes the best policies are those that advance freedom and bring the greatest wellbeing to society, and it’s why we will continue to advocate for the free speech protections of all Americans.”