Public comments force IRS to hold off on new 501(c)(4) regs

In writing about the IRS’s proposed effort to silence conservatives through new regulations on 501(c)(4) organizations, we noted the enormous number of public comments being submitted in response to the regs. In the end, the number of comments exceeded 150,000.

I don’t know whether the criticisms have been heard by the IRS but their weight has been felt. Today IRS Commissioner Koskinen told an audience at the National Press Club that his agency is unlikely to finalize the proposed regulations this year.

Koskinen said:

During the comment period, which ended in February, we received more than 150,000 comments. That’s a record for an IRS rulemaking comment period. In fact, if you take all the comments on all Treasury and IRS draft proposals over the last seven years and double that number, you come close to the number of comments we are now beginning to review and analyze.

It’s going to take us a while to sort through all those comments, hold a public hearing, possibly repropose a draft regulation and get more public comments. This means that it is unlikely we will be able to complete this process before the end of the year.

He didn’t thank the public for its cards and letters, but we do.

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