On March 22, 2012, Cause of Action submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the IRS, seeking information concerning the IRS’ oversight of coalition lobbying, specifically:
• All documents referring or relating to the tax-exempt status of unincorporated coalitions residing at tax-exempt corporations, including reporting requirements concerning these coalitions’ lobbying activities
• All documents referring or relating to the disclosure requirements of tax-exempt entities that sponsor or provide resources to a coalition, concerning the coalition’s lobbying and other activities
• All documents referring or relating to those organizations for which the IRS has:
1. Conducted a criminal investigation, civil audit, or examination, reviewed whistleblower-informant claims, found abusive tax schemes and published alerts or abusive tax scheme investor lists concerning coalitions which lobby and/or “stealth” lobbyists from 2004 to the present
2. For each identified, summarize the subsequent allegations and action by
the IRS, including penalties, fines, reports, memoranda or other assessments made against those investigated coalitions.
3. Provide any documents reflecting coalitions’ response to any IRS criminal investigation, audit,
examination, whistleblower information claim, alert or publication.
On May 14, Susan Marks-Jensky of the IRS responded to CoA’s request, stating “I found no documents specifically responsive to your request.”
This response highlights that the IRS has failed to require lobbying coalition’s to report their stealth activities and has refused to conduct oversight over tax-exempt corporations that sponsor coalition lobbying without disclosing those activities. Moreover, the IRS, despite concerns by Congress and the media, has failed to conduct any investigations of lobbying coalition activities that may be inconsistent with the Internal Revenue Code.