Washington (Aug. 20, 2004) -- Having identified concerns about dozens of filings among the rapidly growing tax-exempt Section 527 political group segment, the Internal Revenue Service is moving to improve reporting and disclosure by those groups.

Under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, certain political groups must periodically file public disclosure reports with the IRS, rather than the Federal Election Commission. The statute requires these organizations to report their contributions and disbursements so that their support and operations are in the public domain in advance of elections.

The new initiative will include contacting Section 527 political groups whose filings appear to be incomplete, were filed late, or were amended and are materially different from the original filing.

The initiative’s launch is timed in advance of key upcoming filing dates -- Sept. 20 for monthly filers, or Oct. 15 for quarterly filers, and Oct. 21 for pre-election reports -- so that correct information is available to the public.

“This effort will help improve the completeness and accuracy of these important public disclosures,” said Steven T. Miller, commissioner of the IRS Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division. “Our job is to ensure compliance with the law.”

The IRS noted that groups that fail to timely report, fail to include all required information about contributions and disbursements, or that report incorrect information may be required to pay 35 percent of the amount related to the failure.

-- WebCPA staff

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