Rep. Pascrell Asks Treasury Dept. to Take Emergency Action Against Capitol Insurrection Groups

Pascrell Asks Yellen for Emergency Action Against Capitol Insurrection Groups

Renews calls for guidance for law-breaking tax-exempt organizations

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the Chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, has written to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen renewing calls for the U.S. Treasury Department to issue emergency guidance on the participation of tax-exempt organizations in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The letter follows up on a January 13, 2021 inquiry by Ways and Means Committee members demanding action from the Treasury Department on any groups that participated in the insurrection.

“I now renew our prior request and respectfully ask that Treasury issue the requested guidance. Additionally, as you may be aware, a recent report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that the Internal Revenue Service enforcement program ensuring tax law compliance by tax-exempt organizations can be improved. In light of TIGTA’s review, I ask that Treasury take all necessary action with respect to specific organizations involved in the January 6 insurrection to ensure they are in compliance with existing laws,” writes Chair Pascrell.

As Chair, Pascrell has made oversight and reform of the IRS a top priority. Pascrell has raised alarms on the slow start to the 2021 tax-filing season, and with Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA-01) has castigated the IRS’s continually sending out erroneous notices to taxpayers. On February 18, Pascrell held a hearing on free tax preparation services available to in-need Americans during the pandemic.

The text of Chair Pascrell’s letter to Secretary Yellen is provided below.

 

March 3, 2021

 

The Honorable Janet L. Yellen

Secretary

U.S. Department of the Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20220

 

Dear Secretary Yellen,

I write today to make you aware of a previous request for guidance from the Department of the Treasury (Treasury).

On January 13, 2021, members of the House Committee on Ways and Means (Committee) wrote a letter to former Treasury Secretary Mnuchin requesting emergency guidance for tax-exempt organizations on the current laws, rules, and sanctions related to their participation in illegal activities that interfere with the conduct of our government.[1] The members of the Committee asked for guidance to be issued in response to media reports that certain tax-exempt organizations organized and promoted the violent insurrection on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.[2] However, no such guidance has been issued.

I now renew our prior request and respectfully ask that Treasury issue the requested guidance. Additionally, as you may be aware, a recent report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that the Internal Revenue Service enforcement program ensuring tax law compliance by tax-exempt organizations can be improved. In light of TIGTA’s review, I ask that Treasury take all necessary action with respect to specific organizations involved in the January 6 insurrection to ensure they are in compliance with existing laws.

Due to the ongoing interest in this matter, I request that Treasury provide an update on this issue no later than March 17, 2021. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

 

 

Bill Pascrell, Jr., Chair

Subcommittee on Oversight

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[1]  Ways and Means Democrats Call on Treasury to Update Guidance Warning Tax-Exempt Organizations About Engaging In Insurrection Activities (Jan. 13, 2021), https://waysandmeans.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/ways-and-means-democrats-call-treasury-update-guidance-warning-tax.

[2]  See, e.g., Brian Schwartz, “Pro-Trump dark money groups organized the rally that led to deadly Capitol Hill riot,” CNBC (Jan. 9, 2021), https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/09/pro-trump-dark-money-groups-organized-the-rally-that-led-to-deadly-capitol-hill-riot.html; Laura Strickler and Lisa Cavazuti, “Republican AGs group sent robocalls urging march to the Capitol,” NBC News (Jan. 8, 2020), https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/republican-ags-group-sent-robocalls-urging-march-capitol-n1253581.

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