CREW files IRS complaint against Greitens-backing nonprofits
CONTACT: Jordan Libowitz
202-408-5565 | [email protected]
Washington—The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should investigate whether the American Policy Coalition (APC) and Freedom Frontier failed to file tax returns on time, according to a complaint filed today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
The two groups played a large role in Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ 2016 gubernatorial campaign, donating millions to groups that backed his election. Annual Form 990s are supposed to be filed within four and a half months after the end of the organization’s fiscal year, although organizations like APC and Freedom Frontier are given one or sometimes two three-month extensions. If APC received both of the allowable extensions, APC’s due date for filing their 2015 Form 990 was August 15, 2017, which would make it between 219 and 400 days late. Likewise, Freedom Frontier’s last possible due date for their 2016 Form 990 was November 15, 2017. If the group received the two allowed extensions, that would make the return between 127 and 311 days late.
“By not filing their tax returns, these organizations are denying one of the few avenues of transparency for politically active nonprofits,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “The annual tax returns are essential for determining whether APC and Freedom Frontier are abusing their tax-exempt status to keep those who are influencing elections secret. We have to ask if they have something to hide.”
This is not the first time Freedom Frontier has had issues filing its tax returns. Freedom Frontier amended its 2015 tax return after CREW found the reported amount raised inconsistent with its $250,000 contribution to a super PAC. Freedom Frontier filed an amended 2015 tax return disclosing that it had actually raised $1,185,000.
“There is a clearly an issue when both organizations appear to be far more than 100 days late filing their tax returns,” Bookbinder said. “The IRS should investigate and take action as appropriate.”