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January 11, 2016

Victory! IRS Withdraws Troubling Proposed Donor Regulation

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations


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In a powerful reminder that citizen action does make a difference, on January 7, 2016, the IRS quietly withdrew a proposed regulation regarding donations to 501(c)(3) charities. The proposed regulation would have allowed charities to collect Social Security numbers from donors who gave $250 or more. HSLDA had previously written about our concerns with this proposed regulation and had invited concerned citizens to comment against the proposed regulation.

YOUR ATTORNEY Will Estrada Will Estrada

It’s easy sometimes to become discouraged and believe that our government doesn’t listen to the people, so it is not worth even contacting elected officials with our concerns. This victory—and others like it—are a strong reminder that our elected officials do listen to us when “We, the People,” speak out. Thank you to everyone who provided comments to the IRS asking them to withdraw this proposed regulation.

We have been quick to criticize the IRS in the past—and they have certainly earned that criticism when they targeted certain groups to audit because of their political position. But we should also applaud the IRS when they get it right. Here they listened to the public and did the right thing. Their response to the public outcry demonstrates that grassroots public participation is effective.

In the News

You can read a news story about the IRS withdrawing the proposed regulation here. And you can read the IRS statement here. The IRS statement specifically acknowledges that they withdrew the proposed regulation because of the overwhelming public response: “The Treasury Department and the IRS received a substantial number of public comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking. Many of these public comments questioned the need for donee reporting, and many comments expressed significant concerns about donee organizations collecting and maintaining taxpayer identification numbers for purposes of the specific-use information return.”

Numerous state and local homeschool support groups are 501(c)(3) organizations. HSLDA routinely partners with these state and local homeschool support groups in all 50 states, and the success of homeschool freedom across our nation is directly attributable to the work of these organizations. We are pleased that this proposed regulation—which could have impacted the work of these fine organizations—has been withdrawn.