In April 2012, Common Cause launched a whistleblower complaint against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), charging that it misuses charity laws, massively underreports lobbying, and obtains improper tax breaks for corporate funders at the taxpayers’ expense. Thousands of pages of ALEC documents were submitted as evidence. Working with the Center for Media and Democracy, Common Cause later filed several supplemental submissions with the IRS containing new evidence of ALEC’s tax fraud:
- The July 2013 submission details ALEC’s misrepresentations about its corporate-funded “scholarship” schemes, about which ALEC had misled the IRS and the public for many years.
- The May 2015 submission provides new evidence of how ALEC exists to provide a vehicle for corporations to lobby and influence state legislators.
- The October 2016 submission examines Exxon Mobil’s use of ALEC to illegally lobby state legislators.
Common Cause’s complaint and supplemental submissions request that the IRS:
- Conduct an immediate investigation of ALEC’s compliance with federal tax law
- Revoke ALEC’s 501(c)(3) status as a tax-exempt charity
- Impose all necessary civil and criminal penalties
- Collect unpaid back and present taxes for ALEC’s corporate lobbying that is inconsistent with its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit status
Read the complaint and exhibits: