New York Attorney General Letitia James is once again taking on President Donald Trump’s administration, this time targeting the Treasury Department over failure to provide legally-required information.
James announced that she and her contemporaries in New Jersey have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS for failing to respond to records requests concerning the elimination of donor disclosure requirements for non-tax-exempt groups.
According to James, the lawsuit “asks the court to compel the Treasury Department and IRS to respond as required by law to requests for information regarding agency actions that directly impact the New York Attorney General’s ability to effectively regulate affected organizations operating in New York.”
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
James said that her office submitted requests to the Treasury Department and IRS in October last year for documents regarding a new rule, Revenue Procedure 2018-38, that “deprives the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau of information necessary to perform its statutory oversight function for thousands of 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, labor organizations, and business leagues that operate and solicit in New York.”
“The requests sought agency records concerning the development, implementation, consideration, and evaluation of the Revenue Procedure, including records discussing the donor reporting requirements in effect prior to the Revenue Procedure’s adoption, historical agency review of donor information, and external inquiries or other communications regarding consideration and development of the change,” James noted. “To date, the IRS has provided only a partial production from one of seven categories of requested material and the Treasury Department has failed to respond entirely.”
“My office depends on these critical donor disclosure forms to be able to adequately oversee non-profit organizations in New York,” she said in a statement. “Not only was this policy change made without notice, but the Treasury and the IRS are now refusing to comply with the law to release information about the rationale for these changes.
"No one is above the law – not even the federal government – and we will use every tool to ensure they comply with these regulations to provide transparency and accountability.”
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