NOM Demands a Federal Investigation of HRC
April 05, 2012, by Kevin Nix
From their press release issued this morning:
Washington, DC — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), today demanded a federal investigation of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to determine who was responsible for releasing NOM's confidential federal tax return information to the Huffington Post. Last week the publication posted a copy of NOM's federal tax return for 2008 (Form 990—Schedule B) listing its major donors, which is a confidential document filed only with the IRS. The tax return listed the names and addresses of dozens of NOM's major donors in 2008. All of this information is submitted to the IRS on a confidential basis and is not available for lawful public disclosure.
"It appears that someone with either the IRS or the HRC may have committed a federal crime by illegally obtaining and then releasing a confidential tax return of the National Organization for Marriage," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "It's clear that the tax return was stolen, either from NOM or from the government. The Huffington Post article says that HRC claimed they received the document from a ‘whistleblower.' But the term ‘whistleblower' is completely inapt. We're talking about a criminal who has stolen confidential tax return information. We demand to know who this criminal is, whether they work for the HRC or the IRS, and how they obtained confidential tax information filed only with the US government."
It is illegal for a government official or employee to make use of or publicly release a taxpayer's tax return. The form 990 Schedule B is submitted by nonprofit groups to the IRS and includes information on donor identity, including name, address and contribution amount. While federal law requires that nonprofit groups make their form 990 filings available for public inspection, the law provides that Schedule B information—the name and address of the contributor—is redacted, leaving only the amount given and the date of the donation as publicly-available information. Here, the un-redacted Schedule B was somehow obtained by the HRC. That information could only have come from the IRS itself, or have been stolen from NOM.
"I would like to know what the HRC knew and when did they know it," Brown said. "It certainly appears that either the HRC was involved in illegally obtaining this tax return themselves, or they worked with a criminal who stole it from NOM or the IRS. Either way, it appears that a federal crime may have been committed."
Brown said he would present a written demand for an investigation to both the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.