On June 5, 2013, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit against the IRS, after the Service failed to provide documents related to the regulation of 501(c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(6) organizations involved in political activity. In December 2012, CREW had made a Freedom of Information Act request for all records of communications between the IRS and Congress regarding regulation of these entities. CREW also asked for records related to an IRS work plan focused on identifying allegations of impermissible political intervention and ensuring those matters received greater scrutiny.
For months, the IRS promised to deliver documents, but now claims that in light of the current scandal, further review is required and any release will be delayed indefinitely.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “In light of the current scandal, it is all the more important for the IRS to release its records quickly. The public deserves a full accounting of all IRS efforts surrounding tax-exempt organizations involved in political activity.”
In addition to this latest lawsuit, CREW has two other pending suits against the IRS challenging the regulation governing 501(c)(4) groups. Current IRS regulations allow these groups to be “primarily engaged” in promoting social welfare, but the Tax Code requires such groups to be “operated exclusively” for social welfare purposes.