Paul L. Caron

Saturday, June 4, 2011

IRS Responds to GOP Questions on Application of Gift Tax to 501(c)(4) Groups

Following up on my prior post, GOP Questions IRS on Applying Gift Tax to Contributions to 501(c)(4) Groups (May 19, 2011):  IRS Commissioner sent this May 31 letter (via BNA) in response:

Your letter raises the general question regarding whether IRS enforcement policy as it pertains to 501(c)(4) organizations is influenced by political considerations. As head of the agency, I can assure you that the answer is an emphatic "no." This agency is apolitical and non-partisan. That is a core value of the agency, and one which I take very seriously.

The recent publicity on this issue resulted from a single matter where an IRS employee followed up on an internal referral by sending letters to five taxpayers. This activity was conducted as part of ongoing work that focuses broadly on gift tax non-compliance and is not part of any broader effort to look at donations to 501(c)(4) organizations. ...

I can assue you that there was no involvement by any political appointees, inside or outside the agency, in the initiation of these letters. I can further assure you that I have had no conversations with anyone outside the IRS regarding any enforcement strategy for this category of cases.

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