Right Hooks

IRS Drops Rule to Verify Nonprofit Donations

Even though it probably wasn't the agency's intent, Liberty was upheld.

Dan Gilmore · Jan. 8, 2016

After seeing that its proposed law would create more problems than it solved, the Internal Revenue Service dropped consideration of implementing a rule that would have “suggested” nonprofits collect the Social Security numbers of anyone who gave more than $250 to the charity. On Thursday, the IRS said it was withdrawing the proposal after it received 38,000 comments (mostly negative) and a letter signed by 215 charities saying that they could not ensure the security of those Social Security numbers. Originally, the IRS proposed the rule as a way for it to verify donations for tax purposes. But what the IRS would have gained by catching tax cheaters (a relatively small problem), Americans would have lost in personal security. The rule, although voluntary for charities, would open a door for identity thieves to either impersonate charities or attempt to hack nonprofits. Furthermore, the proposal would give more information to an agency that has an insidious history of targeting nonprofits that disagreed with the Obama administration. “We’ve seen that the IRS has successfully targeted organizations, and employees of the IRS have abused the power of the agency against people they perceive as political opponents,” Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin told The Daily Signal. “Having more information about who supports those organizations would give them the potential to continue the abuse of power and hurt the individuals, not just the groups. That’s the danger of it.” Even though this probably wasn’t the IRS’ intent, Liberty was upheld by dropping this rule.

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