ActRight IRS Litigation
IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups - A History Overview and Status Report
ActRight Legal Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm, has taken immediate legal action for its clients following recent news that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status and possibly employed political criteria in completing audits of non-profit organizations.
In a statement made on May 10, 2013, Lois Lerner, the Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division, admitted that the IRS singled out applications for 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) status received by conservative groups for additional scrutiny by sending numerous, extensive requests for additional information, which ultimately caused long delays in receiving a determination on their tax-exempt statuses. For example, groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their title were subjected to such additional scrutiny.
As a result of additional IRS scrutiny, True the Vote, a Houston based non-profit, non-partisan charitable and educational organization, filed a complaint in federal court in Washington against the IRS, asking the Court to grant its long-awaited tax exempt status for which the organization filed in three years ago and seeking damages for the unlawful actions by the IRS in the processing of its application for exempt status. ActRight Legal Foundation represents True the Vote in the lawsuit.
“True the Vote is dedicated solely to the protection of the integrity of the election process in our country”, said Catherine Engelbrecht, the President of True the Vote. “We are not partisan and we are not political. But the IRS nonetheless blacklisted our organization, along with hundreds of other citizens groups. We want the exempt status to which we are entitled, which the IRS has unlawfully delayed for more than three years. And we want to know the truth as to why it has been held up by the IRS and what exactly has been going on inside the IRS regarding our organization’s application,” she added.
To see the True the Vote's full complaint against the IRS, see: Filed Complaint - True the Vote v. IRS
You can also view some of the exhibits filed by True the Vote at: True the Vote - Doc. 1-1 - Exhibit A and True the Vote - Doc. 1-2 - Exhibit B.
In addition the the progressing litigation on behalf of True the Vote, ActRight Legal Foundation is also working with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) in another lawsuit against the IRS. ActRight Legal Foundation will file suit against the IRS regarding an alleged illegal leak of NOM’s 2008 Form 990 Schedule B tax information in March 2012. The confidential tax information, which included a list of NOM's donors, was leaked to and published by the Huffington Post and NOM’s political adversary, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), whose president at the time of the leak was serving as a Co-Chair of President Obama’s reelection campaign. NOM believes the source of the leak came from within the IRS and plans to seek damages for the alleged illegal disclosure of their private tax information.
“The IRS is supposed to be impartial and handle tax matters in a manner that will promote public confidence,” said Cleta Mitchell, Board Member and of-Counsel for ActRight Legal Foundation. “We hope that the courts will hold the IRS accountable for its failure to follow its own guidelines, the law, and the Constitution. Because these IRS policies targeting conservative organizations are unconstitutional, the courts should hold the IRS liable for the IRS’ unlawful requests in the first place and also any inspection or review of information produced in response to these unlawful IRS requests.”
ActRight Legal Foundation has created a litigation fund to support its efforts regarding these claims against the IRS. As stated by Dr. John Eastman, Chairman of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and of-Counsel to ActRight Legal Foundation, the IRS litigation fund it to gain "assistance from concerned citizens nationwide to help pay the costs of bringing these cases, which will help us learn the truth about what the IRS has been doing to conservative, non-partisan organizations and patriotic American citizens.”
For more information on the IRS' targeting of conservative groups, see this report: IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups - A History Overview and Status Report
Donations to the ActRight Legal Foundation IRS Litigation Fund are accepted here.