To: Daniel Werfel, Acting IRS Commissioner
Internal Revenue Service: Investigate ALEC
In light of new evidence reported in the Guardian this week, we respectfully request that the Internal Revenue Service investigate whether the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has violated federal tax law by making substantial misrepresentations on its sworn tax returns.
Why is this important?
ALEC’s primary purpose is to influence legislation at the state level, yet for years it has disclaimed on its tax returns spending a penny on lobbying.
As the Guardian reported, last summer ALEC informed legislators and corporate lobbyists that it has incorporated a new organization to seek non-profit status under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. In so doing, ALEC appears to acknowledge that the allegations of tax fraud in complaints from Common Cause, the Voters Legislative Transparency Project, and Clergy Voice, supplemented by evidence provided by the Center for Media and Democracy, helped spur this incorporation.
These latest revelations about ALEC in the Guardian add weight to the argument that ALEC primarily operates like a trade group for its corporate funders, backing the bills sought by corporate lobbyists and buying lawmakers’ trips to meet with those lobbyists about bills.