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National Organization for Marriage claims IRS illegally released tax records

Thursday, April 12, 2012
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WASHINGTON — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) on Thursday released documents claiming that their confidential U.S. tax returns containing private donor information were illegally obtained by a source within the Internal Revenue Service and were handed over to NOM’s political enemies, particularly the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

An angry Brian Brown, NOM’s president, accused an unknown person at the IRS for the disclosure, and said, “It is shocking that a political ally of President Obama’s would come to possess and then publicly release a confidential tax return that came directly from the Internal Revenue Service. We demand to know who is responsible for this criminal act and what the Administration is going to do to get to the bottom of it.”

Joe Solmonese, the outgoing president of the HRC, is a national co-chair of President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.

On March 30, 2012, the Huffington Post published NOM’s confidential 2008 tax return filed with the IRS, which it said came from the Human Rights Campaign.

The HRC has said on its own site the documents came from a “whistleblower.” However, NOM claims that the documents came directly from the Internal Revenue Service.

On NOM’s blog, where copies of the documents were published, NOM writes:

The document on the left is as it appeared when published by the Huffington Post. However, that document was modified in a failed attempt to obscure its source. There is a label visibly obscuring a portion of each page, and it was determined that information on the top of each page was also obscured in the version posted on the Huffington Post.

After software removed the layers obscuring the document, it is shown that the document came from the Internal Revenue Service. The top of each page says, “”THIS IS A COPY OF A LIVE RETURN FROM SMIPS. OFFICIAL USE ONLY.”

On each page of the return is stamped a document ID of “100560209.” Only the IRS would have the Form 990 with “Official Use” information.

“Every taxpayer has a right to expect that its confidential tax returns filed with the IRS will not be given to their political enemies,” said Brown, in a blog post.

“Doing so is a felony. What makes this even more problematic is that the recipient of the confidential tax return is a group headed by President Obama’s national campaign co-chair,” he said.

“This is something that one might expect to occur in the Czarist Soviet Union, not the United States of America. We demand that the Treasury Department launch a federal criminal investigation into the IRS and the Human Rights Campaign to bring these criminals to justice,” Brown added.

A spokesperson for the IRS Washington Field Office declined to comment on NOM’s allegations, but a spokesperson for the HRC, speaking on condition of anonymity, told LGBTQ Nation that the HRC stands by its disclosure and that the documents were provided by a whistle blower.

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