New IRS process for recommending nonprofit audits draws critiques

Relatively inexperienced IRS managers could take the reins of gatekeeping panels with significant sway over dark money groups under the terms of a memo sent to agency managers last week and obtained by OpenSecrets Blog. The panels determine whether non-profits involved in political activity are called out for audits. Effective July 17, a team of three IRS employees will make up Political Activities Referral Committees (PARCs), which are tasked with “[recommending] referrals for audit in an impartial and unbiased manner,” according to the memo. To refer an audit takes a majority vote of the three committee members. Those three will be selected from a pool of manager-level employees (civil service grade GS-14 equivalents) at random. That means the PARCs will likely consist of workers with little experience administering exempt organizations, said Marcus Owens, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer and former head of the IRS Exempt Organizations division. “I analogize it as, an […] Read More