CFIF recently highlighted the importance of strengthening intellectual property rights as part of ongoing…
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Stephen Moore: Trade Deals Must Protect Intellectual Property Rights

CFIF recently highlighted the importance of strengthening intellectual property rights as part of ongoing trade negotiations in a piece entitled "Intellectual Property:  NAFTA Renegotiation Priority #1." Days later, Senator Pat Toomey (R - Pennsylvania) echoed that call in his Wall Street Journal commentary.

This week, celebrated economist Stephen Moore added his voice in a brilliant commentary entitled "Trade Deals Must Protect Intellectual Property Rights":

. American investments, ingenuity and entrepreneurship have made intellectual property one of our nation's most important assets.  IP-intensive industries, including software, biotechnology and entertainment, now support nearly one-third of all U.S. jobs.  But too often, our foreign trading partners take unfair advantage…[more]

May 25, 2018 • 08:51 am

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Home Press Room CFIF Urges IRS Rulemaking to Help Prevent Targeting and Harassment of Organizations and Individual Donors
CFIF Urges IRS Rulemaking to Help Prevent Targeting and Harassment of Organizations and Individual Donors Print
Thursday, April 19 2018

In a letter sent today to President Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, the Center for Individual Freedom ("CFIF") urged them to encourage the IRS to initiate a formal rulemaking to eliminate the Schedule B form filing requirement for 501(c) exempt organizations. 

Read the letter below.


April 19, 2018 

The Honorable Donald Trump      
Office of the President of the United States    
The White House       
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.     
Washington, D.C. 20006 

The Honorable Steven Mnuchin
Office of the Secretary of the Treasury
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.     
Washington, D.C. 20220 

Dear President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin:

On behalf of the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) and more than 250,000 activists and supporters across the nation, I write regarding an issue of utmost importance:  preventing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting of nonprofit organizations on the basis of ideology, and protecting the First Amendment freedoms of speech and association of those organizations by eliminating IRS collection of sensitive information on their donors. 

As you know, recent years have witnessed an assault against First Amendment free speech and association rights.  In numerous instances, the IRS has collected and leaked sensitive identifiable information regarding contributors to 501(c) organizations contained in the "Schedule B" form that is supposed to remain confidential. Moreover, the Schedule B form and confidential donor information contained therein have been demanded and used by other government officials, specifically hyper-partisan state attorneys generals, to harass and intimidate organizations that do not share their ideological and political beliefs.

The IRS itself has acknowledged that Schedule B information is irrelevant to the legally permissible handling of tax filings by 501(c) organizations.  Indeed, both the previous IRS Commissioner and IRS Exempt Organizations Director made public statements in 2015 questioning the need for Schedule B forms and suggested the IRS could not guarantee the confidentiality of the information being provided.

Earlier this year, Congress introduced the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, H.R. 4916, which mirrors legislation passed by the House of Representatives last year that eliminates the Schedule B filing requirement.  CFIF is leading a broad coalition of more than 100 of the nation’s most influential conservative and libertarian organizations and individuals in support of H.R. 4916 and all other efforts to eliminate the IRS's indefensible and pointless Schedule B collection requirement.  A recent letter signed by each member of that broad coalition in support of eliminating the Schedule B requirement is attached hereto.

While a permanent legislative fix like H.R. 4916 would be ideal, we also acknowledge the difficulty of securing Congressional passage for your signature in the current environment.  Even in the absence of legislation, however, the IRS can and should initiate a rulemaking to eliminate the Schedule B requirement, thereby preventing IRS officials and activist state attorneys general from exploiting the confidential information to target groups and individual Americans with whom they politically disagree. 

Such a rulemaking is well within the IRS’s prerogative.  Congress never adopted the Schedule B donor disclosure requirement for most exempt 501(c) organizations.  Yet the disclosure requirement applies today to all exempt organizations, as the Treasury Department and IRS made the decision independent of Congress to require the filing of Schedule B as part of the Form 990 annual information return of all exempt organizations.

Mr. President and Mr. Secretary, there is simply no justification for the IRS to continue using Schedule B to collect sensitive data on Americans who simply seek to exercise their First Amendment free speech and free association rights. As evidenced by the attached letter recently sent to Congress, the entire center-right community stands united in our efforts to eliminate the Schedule B.  We, therefore, urge you to exercise your authority to encourage an IRS rulemaking as soon as possible to accomplish that goal.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. 

Sincerely, 

/s/      

Jeffrey Mazzella 
President 


Attachment

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