Could secretary of state use AB60 like the IRS did to go after conservative nonprofits?

What do you call déjà vu that hasn’t happened yet? A premonition?

On Friday the IRS apologized for something it previously denied ever happened — IRS employees in the Cincinnati office basically crawled into the shorts of any tax-exempt organization that used the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their names. The IRS refused to say whether anyone was disciplined. They probably got promoted.

That’s why I look askance at Assembly Bill 60 which would give the Nevada Secretary of State’s office unprecedented powers and documentation to crawl into the shorts of just about any nonprofit organization in the state that solicits contributions. Existing law already regulates nonprofits, but AB60 would require huge amounts of paperwork and provide serious penalties for failure to jump through bureaucratic hoops. The attorney general would enforce the law.

Here is a brief section AB60:

2. A corporation which intends to solicit charitable contributions must, at the time of filing its articles of incorporation pursuant to NRS 82.081, file on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State:
(a) The information required by subsection 3; and
(b) A financial report.
3. The form required by subsection 2 must include, without limitation:
(a) The exact name of the corporation as registered with the Internal Revenue Service;
(b) The federal tax identification number of the corporation;
(c) The name of the corporation as registered with the Secretary of State or, if a foreign nonprofit corporation, the name of the foreign nonprofit corporation as filed in its jurisdiction of origin;
(d) The purpose for which the corporation is organized;
(e) The name or names under which the corporation intends to solicit charitable contributions;
(f) The address and telephone number of the principal place of business of the corporation and the address and telephone number of any offices of the corporation in this State or, if the corporation does not maintain an office in this State, the name, address and telephone number of the custodian of the financial records of the corporation;
(g) The names and addresses, either residence or business, of the officers, directors, trustees and executive personnel of the corporation;
(h) The last day of the fiscal year of the corporation;
(i) The jurisdiction and date of the formation of the corporation;
(j) The tax exempt status of the corporation; and
(k) Any other information deemed necessary by the Secretary of State, as prescribed by regulations adopted by the Secretary of State pursuant to section 9 of this act.

I especially love the catch-all phrase “any other information deemed necessary by the Secretary of State.”

To become tax exempt, a nonprofit must comply with federal statutes. Why is this extra paperwork with the state necessary, except to provide the power to intimidate?

One hint about this bill, it passed the Assembly in April with every single Republican voting “nay.”

You can comment on the bill if you like here. Not sure anyone will read it. Might be better to email your state senator, especially if he or she is a Democrat.

Do you trust Democrat Secretary of State Ross Miller and Democrat Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto to not abuse the powers that would granted by AB60?

Catherine Cortez Masto

Ross Miller

4 comments on “Could secretary of state use AB60 like the IRS did to go after conservative nonprofits?

  1. Rincon says:

    Since nonprofits are exempt from state sales and income taxes, it’s reasonable for the state to insist on having information, which they already have on every taxpaying business. What I’m trying to figure out is how they got on before this. Did they just turn a blind eye to every organization that chose not to pay taxes?

  2. All the SOS needs to do is read their publicly available 990s.

    ________________________________

  3. Bruce Feher says:

    Both parties should be outlawed

  4. Rincon says:

    Although the 990s fulfills the requirements of section 5, hte rest of the information appears to be above and beyond that. It sure sounds like this is just more bureaucracy, but at the same time, I don’t see what harm it does to the Tea Party that it doesn’t also do to the Boy Scouts, except….

    My best guess is that the Tea Party tells people that their deductions are tax deductible when only a portion of them are and Nevada wants more information to prevent misappropriations. As I understand it, activities that are “educational” in nature are deductible, while “political” activity is not.

    The answer? Get rid of all tax deductions including those for charitable contributions.

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