NOM refuses to release tax documents as required by law

Brian Brown

Brian Brown

WASHINGTON — Representatives from two LGBT advocacy groups were told Friday and again Monday by staff at the National Organization for Marriage‘s Washington D.C. office, that its required federal tax returns for 2012 were not available.

Officials of the Human Rights Campaign and the Rights Equal Rights organization visited NOM’s office to review federal tax returns that were due on Friday, Nov. 15, but were sent away.

Brian Brown

NOM President Brian Brown

Federal tax law requires organizations to publicly release their 990s the same day an in-person request is made. As a result, HRC has filed a complaint with the IRS in order to compel NOM to provide copies of the documents, as required by law.

“We sent a representative to the Washington D.C. office of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) first thing Friday morning to pick up both copies of NOM’s federal tax returns for 2012,” said Fred Karger, President of Rights Equal Rights. “NOM’s tax returns were originally due on May 15, 2013, but they took two extensions, so their final deadline was Friday.”

“Guess what? No tax returns were available for public inspection at their main office on Friday,” he said.

“NOM President Brian $ Brown claims they are ‘law abiding, file all their tax returns on time and obey all state and federal election laws.’ They do not,” said Karger, in a statement.

Karger has filed formal complaints with the Internal Revenue Service against NOM since 2009, and has repeatedly called for a Congressional investigation of the NOM due to its late and non-reporting of its federal 990 income tax returns.

On Monday, representatives from the HRC returned to NOM’s D.C. offices and were told that the forms were still unavailable.

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“NOM’s inability to meet one of the most basic accounting standards for any organization makes you wonder what exactly is going on – are they simply demonstrating the same flagrant disregard they have for numerous state campaign finance laws, or is there something in these documents that reflects even more poorly on the organization and their failed work?” questioned the HRC, in a statement.

“Brian Brown apparently had enough time on Friday to pull together a fundraising email feigning outrage at the marriage equality victory in Hawaii, but didn’t have time to ensure his organization was running in accordance with the law. NOM should do the right thing and immediately release these financial documents that the public has a right to see,” said the HRC.

According to NOM’s 2011 990s, obtained by HRC last year, the anti-LGBT organization raised only $6.2 million, a precipitous drop from the $9.1 million it raised in 2010. The documents also revealed that nearly 75 percent of NOM’s fundraising came from just two deep-pocketed donors.

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