Monday, December 20, 2010

IRS Reports on Political Activity Audits and Workplan

Last week the IRS Exempt Organizations Division issued a report that included information about both past and future activities.  Among the numerous items is information about consumer credit counseling, downpayment assistance, executive compensation loan project, and the 2008 political activities compliance initiative (PACI) audits.  The 2008 PACI audits are of particular interest because a long-expected report on those audits has not been forthcoming.  The report provides only a brief summary of that audit program, noting that there were investigations of 133 political activity allegations for the 2008 election year (more than in each of 2004 and 2006), including of 47 instances of church officials making a statement during normal services endorsing candidates (as compared to 19 and 14 such allegations in 2004 and 2006, respectively).  The report provides no information, however on the results of those investigations. 

The workplan also includes a plan to begin examining more section 501(c)(4) (social welfare organizations), 501(c)(5) (labor unions), and 501(c)(6) (chambers of commerce and trade associations) organizations, including for excessive political activity.  Other information about past activities that may be of interest include examination figures (increased significantly from fiscal year 2004 but still relatively small given that multiple returns are often examined for the same organization) and 990-N filing figures (over 335,000 filed in 2010).


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