May 23, 2018

Americans Shouldn’t Be Targeted for Expressing Their First Amendment Rights

Post by Freedom Partners

Expressing yourself shouldn’t make you a target in a nation that protects free speech.

Unfortunately, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a history of doing exactly that. In numerous instances, the IRS has collected and leaked sensitive identifiable information regarding contributors to 501(c) organizations contained in the IRS “Schedule B” form that is supposed to remain confidential.

The Schedule B form and confidential donor information contained in these forms have been demanded and used by other government officials to harass and intimidate organizations and individual donors that do not share their ideological and political beliefs.

Recently, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) questioned acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter about the Schedule B form and in response, he made it clear that the issue is a priority for himself and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and even suggested the IRS may no longer require most organizations to file a Schedule B form anymore.

In Kautter’s own words: “I’m actively involved with the Secretary looking at Schedule B and I think for many organizations, there frankly isn’t a requirement – we don’t need that information to administer the tax laws in a fair way.”

The IRS should eliminate the Schedule B requirement, thereby preventing IRS officials and activist state attorneys general from exploiting confidential information to target groups and individual Americans with whom they disagree.

Freedom of speech means more than just being able to say what you want when you want. It means protecting citizens from undue harassment over the beliefs they hold. By eliminating Schedule B forms, the IRS can take a great stride toward guarding the First Amendment rights of Americans who want to express their political beliefs.