January 13, 2016 – After failing to disclose $33.5 million in political activity from 2008 to 2013, the NRA failed to disclose another $25 million in political spending to the IRS in 2014, according to a supplemented complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today. Despite calling the missing $33.5 million a “clerical error,” it appears that the NRA has still not corrected its previous inaccurate tax forms.
In reports signed under penalty of perjury, the NRA reported to the FEC that it spent $12.6 million in political expenditures in 2014. In its annual audited financial statement, the NRA disclosed it paid an additional $18.5 million of its PAC’s expenses, for a total of $31.1 million in political spending. But, again under the penalty of perjury, the NRA told the IRS that it only spent $5.79 million on political activity in 2014.
“The NRA acknowledged presenting incorrect information to the IRS after our complaint and press reports last year, and yet the group apparently continued to fail to disclose its political spending to the IRS with its most recent filing,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “This calls for a thorough IRS investigation.”
Additionally, the NRA told the IRS over multiple years that it did not spend any money on outside lobbyists despite disclosing to Congress that it in fact spent millions on outside lobbyists. It also claimed that it received no membership dues, which would be strange for a membership organization, especially one that takes in more than $100 million in membership dues every year. These claims appear to have allowed the NRA to avoid filing a form disclosing information on their lobbying and political spending.
“The NRA has a real problem with letting the IRS know about its political activity,” Bookbinder said. “Unless the IRS takes action, there’s no reason to believe this problem will end.”