The IRS has announced it will revisit its proposed rule limiting the types of First Amendment activities in which nonprofit organizations may engage. Perhaps the more than 150,000 comments submitted to the agency from groups across the political spectrum or the bipartisan House vote to stop the IRS from modifying the rules helped them see their error.
The NAM filed comments on the rule outlining our concerns about the broad sweep of this rule which could end up eliminating that ability of nonprofit groups to engage in good government efforts such as nonpartisan get out the vote (GOTV) efforts and voter registration activities. We believe our nation remains strong when job creators exercise their Constitutional rights and speak out about public policies that impact growth and U.S. job creation.
Furthermore, an educated electorate is critical to a well-functioning democracy and nonprofit groups across the political spectrum play an important role in this endeavor. The Supreme Court repeatedly has recognized that voluntary associations are key participants in the public debate and that government’s attempt to stifle their voice violates the First Amendment.
The proposed IRS regulations offered to put us on a path to weakening those rights—we hope they will take a very different course in the next version of this rule. Regardless, the NAM stands ready to fight against any further attempt to use tax regulations to restrict political speech and activities that are protected by our Constitution.