FOUNDATION: IRS WITHDRAWS PROPOSED REGULATION

MONTGOMERY: The Foundation for Moral Law, a Montgomery-based legal foundation dedicated to the defense of the United States Constitution and the right to religious liberty, hailed the Internal Revenue Service decision to withdraw a proposed regulation as a victory for nonprofits and religious freedom.

Late in 2015, the IRS proposed a regulation by which churches and other nonprofit organizations would collect and report the Social Security numbers of donors who give more than $250. But when the IRS proposal was placed on the regulation.gov website, over 34,000 persons and organizations posted comments, the overwhelming majority of them strongly against the proposal. Accordingly, last week the IRS announced that it was scrapping the proposal.

John Eidsmoe, Senior Counsel for the Foundation for Moral Law, posted comments opposing the proposed regulation. He noted that the regulation would impose an extra record-keeping burden on nonprofits, and that collecting, recording, and transferring this information could result in errors that would create confusion rather than clarity. He added that the proposal comes at a time when identity theft is a major concern and people are being cautioned not to give out their Social Security numbers except when absolutely necessary. He warned that the proposal could have a chilling effect on giving, and that donors might refuse to donate or keep their donations below $250 to avoid identity theft.

Foundation President Kayla Moore expressed her appreciation to all who spoke out against the proposed regulation, saying, “The IRS decision to withdraw this proposed regulation demonstrates that ‘we the people’ can get results when we speak out with a strong and united voice. The Foundation for Moral Law pledges to continue its mission as the guardian of religious liberty and constitutional freedom.”