Congressman Yoder responded after the IRS released a new report updating Congress on new findings at the Internal Revenue Service. IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel released a report that included details about the steps the agency is taking to ensure groups are not inappropriately scrutinized when they apply for tax-exempt status. Congressman Yoder sent a letter to IRS Commissioner last month requesting an update on how many groups were still awaiting approval on the request for tax-exempt status.
"When I questioned IRS Commissioner Werfel earlier this month, I asked him to find out how many groups were still waiting on approval, and to speed up this process. However, the IRS proposal does not seem to be an adequate solution," stated Congressman Yoder. "These groups should not have to hold themselves to a higher standards to get a more expedient resolution. There are still groups who have waited longer than 200 days on approval. The IRS needs to stop changing the rules and follow the process that existed prior to 2010. I expect these injustices to be resolved and responsible parties held accountable."
Currently, the law says that these groups must engage in over 50% social welfare activities, whereas Werfel would only grant the "safe-harbor" option for self-certification to groups that certify they devote 60% or more of both their spending and time on activities that promote social welfare.
This safe harbor is not a solution. These groups should not have to self-certify that they will hold themselves to a higher standard than they would under existing law in order to get resolution.
The IRS needs to stop changing the rules and follow the process that existed prior to 2010.
The issue is that the IRS needs to train its employees to stop labeling all conservative public policy groups as political when they are not.
The better solution is for the IRS to stick to current law and grant safe harbor to all groups that self-certify that over 50% of their activities are non-political. The IRS can then review their tax returns to verify compliance, just like they do for other tax returns.