NCPA Comments to the IRS

December 11, 2015

by Brian Williams

We at the National Center for Policy Analysis strongly oppose the proposed IRS rule that would have 501(c)3 charitable organizations collect social security numbers of donors who give $250 or more.  Issuing this rule right before a presidential election year is not a coincidence. 

While the proposed rule is voluntary, that is a weak argument for the rule itself.  We are already able to "voluntarily" provide information to the IRS, so why does the IRS need to issue a new "voluntary" rule to allow Americans to do something we can already do?  The only reason to issue this "voluntary" rule today is because it is the first step to becoming a mandatory rule in the future.  

Requiring individuals to provide their social security numbers along with their charitable donation would violate one of the IRS's own recommendations to protect against identity theft.  Why would the IRS want to put individuals at increased risk of identity theft?  Why would the IRS want to increase the other risks associated with compromised privacy?

Americans have the right to support charities and causes they believe in. The IRS does not need more regulation in this area.  Instead of issuing this rule, the IRS ought to increase regulation of its own unlawful behavior.

The IRS engaged in systematic targeting of organizations and individuals whose beliefs and missions did not align with this current administration's agenda. Then, the IRS spent a considerable amount of energy trying to cover their unlawful behavior, even going as far as lying to Congress.  And now the IRS wants NCPA donors to give their social security numbers when they donate?  This can only lead to more IRS abuse heaped on law-abiding American citizens. 

Not only is the proposed regulation unnecessary, it is dangerous.  We strongly urge the IRS to abandon this proposed rule.