Treasury Dept. Eases Donor Disclosure Rules For Some Tax-Exempt Groups

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images North America

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is lifting requirements for some tax-exempt groups to disclose the identities of their donors to federal tax authorities.

The change benefits groups that spend millions of dollars on political ads, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and an organization tied to the billionaire Koch brothers.

Republicans accused the IRS during President Barack Obama’s tenure of liberal bias and unfair targeting of conservative tax-exempt groups. Now those groups figure among the organizations allowed to withhold names of their donors under the new IRS policy announced late Monday.

Treasury Department officials portrayed the changes as important free-speech and privacy protections for donors, while also preserving government transparency. But critics see the easing of disclosure requirements as opening the door to more dark money in political campaigns.

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