House Committee Initiates Inquiry into IRS Handling of Nonprofit Liberal Groups

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee initiated an investigation into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Wednesday, following allegations that certain nonprofit liberal organizations were permitted to engage in lobbying and political activities.

In a letter to the IRS, Committee Chair James Comer underscored the requirements outlined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) regarding tax-exempt status. “Tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3)…requires that exempted entities are ‘operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational’ and related purposes,” Comer stated.

“Despite these limitations on political and lobbying activities by 501(c)(3) designated entities, activist advocacy organizations, such as One Fair Wage, Inc., seem to view their charitable work as indistinguishable from their substantial lobbying pursuits,” he added.

One Fair Wage Inc., a nonprofit advocating for an increased minimum wage, was specifically mentioned by Comer. He cited legal documents indicating that the group described lobbying as its “organizational purpose.”

According to reports from The Daily Caller, the organization defines its purpose as working to “advance policy, drive industry change, and shift the narrative in order to ensure that all workers in America are paid at least the full minimum wage.”

The IRS has been given until February 28 to comply with Comer’s request for “documents and information” relevant to the investigation.