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Judicial Watch • OMB letter on IRS rules by Alan Dye

OMB letter on IRS rules by Alan Dye

OMB letter on IRS rules by Alan Dye

Page 1: OMB letter on IRS rules by Alan Dye


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Date Created:January 28, 2014

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 06, 2014


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WASHINGTON, D.C. 20006 GEORGE WEBSTER (1921-1996) 
ALAN DYE (202) 785-9500 CHARLES CHAMBERLAIN (19172002) 
January 28, 2014 
Office Management and Budget 

Attn: Desk Officer for the Department Treasury 
Office Information and Regulatory Affairs 
Washington, D.C. 20503 
RE: Comments Paperwork Reduction Act and Collection Information under Internal Revenue Service NPRM, REG-13441'7-13, Guidance for TaxExempt Social Welfare Organizations Candidate-Related Political Activities Whom May Concern: behalf Judicial Watch, Section 50l(c)(3) organization, submit the following comment letter concerning the erroneous assessment the new recordkeeping and collection information burden the Department Treasury contained the Notice Proposed Rulemaking, Guidance for Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Organizations Candidate-Related Political Activities, Fed. Reg. 71535 (REG-134417-13) (Nov. 29, 2013) (the "NPRM"). 
Although Judicial Watch not directly affected the NPRM, Judicial Watch promotes integrity, transparency and accountability government and fidelity the rule law through public advocacy, litigation and monitoring and investigating federal, state, local government entities and officials, among other civic and educational activities. respectfully request that the Office Management and Budget ("OMB") direct the 
Department Treasury withdraw the NPRM order properly conduct the review required
under the Paperwork Reduction Act 1995 ("PRA") The PRA directs federal agencies "minimize the paperwork burden for individuals, small businesses, educational and nonprofit organizations, ... and other persons resulting from the collection information for the Federal Government. The Director the Office Information and Regulatory Affairs mandated "minimize the Federal information collection burden with particular emphasis those individuals and entities most adversely affected. U.$.C.  3506(c)(l). u.s.c.  3501(1). U.S.C.  3504(c)(3). 

Office Information and Regulatory Affairs 
Re: 501(c)(4) NPRM 
January 28, 2014 

The Collection Information Submitted OMB Incomplete 

The Service's PRA submission fundamentally flawed several key respects. The Service does not mention the collection information arising out the NPRM's new term, which replaces decades-old definition. Consequently, does not analyze the substantial burden this new term will place nearly all the more than 100,000  50l(c)(4) organizations.4 
First, the Service's PRA submission addresses only the collection information  l.501(c)(4)-l(a)(2)(iii)(D) the NPRM. The Service fails mention, let alone review and evaluate required under the PRA, the burden the collection information arising out its replacement long-standing language -'"participation intervention political campaigns behalf opposition any candidate for public office' -with new term -'candidaterelated political activity. '"5 This error taints the entire PRA notice. 
This new term, "candidate-related political activity," includes several activities listed below that, under the long-standing concept "participation, intervention in, ... any political campaign," would not treated political activity. This expansion will require social welfare organizations track and collect information about five additional categories activities that were completely disregarded the Service its PRA analysis. 
Any public communication within days primary election days general election that refers one more clearly identified candidates that election or, the case general election, refers one more political parties represented that election. 

Conduct non-partisan voter registration drive non-partisan "get-out-thevote" drive. 

Preparation distribution non-partisan voter guide that refers one more clearly identified candidates or, the case general election, one more political parties (including material accompanying the voter guide). 

Hosting conducting nonpartisan, e.g., community, event within days primary election days general election which one more candidates such election appear part the program.9 National Center for Charitable Statistics, 
visited Jan. 28, 2014). Guidance for Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Organizations Candidate-Related Political Activities, Fed. Reg. 
71535, 71538 (Nov. 29, 2013).  l.50l(c)(4)-l(a)(2)(iii)(A)(2); Fed. Reg. 71541.  l.50l(c)(4)-l (a)(2)(iii)(A)(5); Fed. Reg. 71541.  1.50l(c)(4)-l(a)(2)(iii)(A)(7); Fed. Reg. 71541. 

Office Information and Regulatory Affairs 
Re: 501(c)(4) NPRM 
January 28, 2014 

 	Activities conducted volunteers "acting under the organization's direction supervision" made even more difficult due guidance "direction supervision"). 
Although the Service now proposing regulate these activities (by limiting their amount), does not analyze the burden arising from this landscape-changing definition. result, the Service has grossly underestimated the average annual burden hours, both with respect the hours per organization and its estimate that the additional burden will affect only 2,000 organizations. 
Second, "burden" broadly defined the PRA include all the "time, effort, fmancial resources expended persons generate, maintain, provide information for Federal agency," including any time other expenditure needed review instructions, acquire technology, search data sources. Considerable time, effort, and fmancial resources will expended the more than 100,000  501(c)(4) organizations understand the new regulations and educate staff and volunteers about the new categories activities that will need tracked. Yet, the Service has completely ignored these components burden. the past, only those  50l(c)(4) organizations who were engaged traditional "political" activities, such partisan communications, tracked and kept records such activities. Those  501 organizations not involved such activities, had need collect this information. However, due the expansive new definition, which sweeps both partisan and nonpartisan activity, nearly every 501(c)(4) organization will adversely affected. 
Most  501(c)(4) organizations not currently track collect this information. For example, local civic organization currently does not need track expenses and volunteer hours associated with non-partisan event which the mayor (who happens candidate) attends provide update the status neighborhood project. Under the proposed regulations, the non-partisan event held within days election, the time and expenses associated with the event must recorded. 
The burden particularly great those organizations which heretofore have never had collect and record such activity. They will need establish new recordkeeping systems and procedures track and collect this information. Moreover, the information collection required the proposed regulations not isolated event; the Service's proposed definition "candidate-related political activity" will require ongoing recordkeeping and tracking activities almost every  501 organization. The recordkeeping will particularly  l.50l{c)(4)-l(a)(2)(iii)(A)(8); Fed. Reg. 71541.  l.50l(c)(4)-l(a)(2)(iii)(C); Fed. Reg. 71541. U.S.C.  3502(2). 

Office Information and Regulatory Affairs 
Re: 50l(c)(4) NPRM 
January 28, 2014 

intensive during any day period before primary general election when organizations will need scrutinize every public communication (direct mail, website, emails, blog posts, etc.), including those completely unrelated election, determine whether mentions government official, and whether that official also candidate. 
Third, the new inclusion volunteer hours imposes additional layer recordkeeping and burden upon these non-profit organizations, many which rely heavily upon local volunteers. Although the Service gives guidance how determine which volunteers are under organization's "direction supervision," organizations will need track and record volunteers, their activities, and time expended. Anyone who has worked with volunteers knows that recordkeeping can notoriously difficult -how many volunteers are going want fill out time cards for their service? How many volunteers are going turned off from civic engagement due this paperwork burden?
While the NPRM estimates that 2,000 organizationswill have collect information under the new certification process for making contributions  501 organizations, the broad new definition "candidate-related political activities" covers activities engaged nearly every 501(c)(4) organization. More than 100,000 organizations, not the 2,000 estimated the Service, will need collect this information, especially given the Service's failure state how much "candidate-related political activities" too much. 
The Service has drafted these pro;osed regulations eliminate its requirement make necessary fact-intensive determinations.1 The result enormous burden over 100,000  501(c)(4) organizations, many which not engage traditional, partisan "political activities." This burden has not been supported the Service's PRA submission, nor justified. 
Conclusion short, the Service has failed address the collection information arising out the NPRM' new term -"candidate-related political activity" -which replaces decades-old definition. Consequently, the Service has not reviewed and evaluated the substantial burden this new term will place nearly all the more than 100,000  50l(c)(4) organizations. Accordingly, respectfully request that the Director disapprove the collection information contained the NPRM and/or file public comments the collection information.14 The Service provides support explanation for this number. Fed. Reg. 71538 (stating that "the proposed approach justified the need provide greater certainty 
section 501(c)(4) organizations regarding their activities and reduce the need for fact-intensive determinations."); 
see also id. 71537 (new definition would "reduce the need for detailed factual analysis"). 

Office Information and Regulatory Affairs 
Re: 501(c)(4) NPRM 
January 28, 2014 

addition, urge the Department Treasury withdraw the NPRM order properly conduct the review and analysis required under the PRA. 
Please contact (202-785
9500) you have questions would like set meeting discuss our 

Yours very truly, 
fl. Or/Jif