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IRS Must Explain Reasons For Rejecting Tax Exempt Applications

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

08 December 2003


A US federal appeals court has ruled that the Internal Revenue Service must explain its reasoning when it denies a request from an organization requesting tax-exempt status.

The ruling will apply to all tax-exempt entities, ranging from charities to pension plans, after a lawsuit brought by Tax Analysts, non-profit publisher of the Tax Notes magazine. However, the three judges on the panel ruled that the names of the organizations involved in any disclosures may still be kept confidential.

The decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit represents the end of a long campaign by Tax Analysts to push the IRS to lift the veil of secrecy on the reasoning behind its rejection of tax exempt status in some cases. The drive began after a Congressional review of the issue in 1998 found no basis for non-disclosure of such decisions.

Whilst the IRS still has time in which to appeal the decision, it has yet to reveal whether it will do so.


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