Democrats call for IRS to review tax-exempt status of NRA

Democrats call for IRS to review tax-exempt status of NRA
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House Ways and Means Committee Democrats on Tuesday called on the IRS to review the tax-exempt status of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and NRA Foundation. 

The members, led by Reps. Jimmy GomezJimmy GomezDemocrats call for IRS to review tax-exempt status of NRA Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' Hispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants MORE (D-Calif.) and Brad SchneiderBradley (Brad) Scott SchneiderDemocrats call for IRS to review tax-exempt status of NRA 189 House Democrats urge Israel to 'reconsider' annexation Partisan divide on annexation complicates US-Israel relationship MORE (D-Ill.), wrote a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig following the lawsuit from the New York attorney general seeking to dissolve the powerful pro-gun interest group announced last month.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’s (D) civil suit alleges that the NRA violated state law governing nonprofit organizations, contributing to a loss of more $64 million over three years, and that the group and four of its top officials diverted millions of dollars away from its charitable mission.

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“The lawsuit filed by the New York Attorney General outlined a pattern of egregious self-dealing by directors or members in control of the organizations, looting corporate assets solely for personal benefit, and using vendors and contractors to hide improper use of funds or conflicts of interest,” the members wrote on Tuesday.

They asked the IRS to review whether the allegations warrant reconsideration of the federal tax-exempt status of the NRA and NRA Foundation. Ways and Means is the oversight committee to the IRS, which oversees tax-exempt organizations. 

“Tax-exempt organizations must adhere to strict, specific requirements to retain their exemption from federal tax—and no tax-exempt organization is above the law,” the members wrote.

The members said that their request for a IRS review is “irrespective” of the political differences it has with the NRA and based on the principle that tax-exempt organizations operate in accordance with the rules.

“Tax-exempt organizations are sewn into the fabric of American society and play a critical role in improving the lives of millions of Americans. We must ensure the American people can trust that our tax laws are properly enforced. When there are instances of abuse, it is incumbent on the Executive Branch and Congress to investigate and act,” they wrote.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre responded to the lawsuit when it was announced, calling it “an unconstitutional, premeditated attack.”