National Organization for Marriage Files Suit against IRS

By Jason Bramwell
 
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) filed a lawsuit against the IRS on October 3, claiming it has "irrefutable proof" the agency illegally released the pro-traditional marriage organization's 2008 confidential tax return to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an organization that supports same-sex marriage.
 
NOM is seeking damages as a result of the unauthorized disclosure, according to a complaint filed by the ActRight Legal Foundation on behalf of NOM in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. 
 
NOM is also asking that the IRS disclose the person or persons responsible for the release of the organization's confidential tax return information. The unauthorized disclosure of tax information is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
 
The lawsuit claims that on March 30, 2012, NOM became aware that the unredacted Schedule B to its Form 990, containing the names and addresses of its donors, was illegally inspected and disclosed by an employee or employees of the IRS, who then passed the information on to HRC. According to the lawsuit, HRC shared the tax return information with the Huffington Post
 
"This is a chilling set of circumstances that should ring alarm bells across the nation," NOM President Brian Brown said in a written statement
 
In a March 30, 2012, blog post on the Huffington Post website, HRC Assistant General Counsel Darrin Hurwitz wrote that in the aftermath of California's Proposition 8, NOM strategically leveraged large secret donations to fund the anti-gay marriage movement across the country. In his blog, Hurwitz published the names of some organizations and individuals and the amounts they donated to NOM for its Prop 8 effort.
 
NOM also claims in its lawsuit that HRC published the confidential tax return information on its website on or about March 30, 2012. According to the lawsuit, HRC has since removed that information from its site. 
 
In another article posted on the Huffington Post site on March 30, 2012, one of NOM's major donors was the political action committee (PAC) for then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The PAC made a $10,000 donation to the not-for-profit conservative group in 2008. 

You may like these other stories...

Truckers and other owners of heavy highway vehicles take note: Your next federal highway use tax return is due on September 2.The September 2 due date, which was pushed back two days because the normal August 31 deadline...
The head of the IRS has a message for taxpayers and tax preparers who have endured long wait times while on the phone with the tax agency: Call your member of Congress.During his keynote speech at the 69th Annual Meeting of...
Regulators struggle with conflicts in credit ratings and auditsThe Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), which was created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, released its third annual report on audits of...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Aug 26
This webcast will include discussions of recently issued, commonly-applicable Accounting Standards Updates for non-public, non-governmental entities.
Aug 28
Excel spreadsheets are often akin to the American Wild West, where users can input anything they want into any worksheet cell. Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to restrict user inputs to selected choices, but there are many nuances to the feature that often trip users up.
Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.