Legislation Introduced To Block IRS’s Donor SSN Rule

Legislation Introduced To Block IRS’s Donor SSN Rule

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David L. Thompson, vice president of public policy for the National Council of Nonprofits, discussed the IRS’ proposed amendment in a newsletter shortly after it was announced in September and received more feedback than any prior posting. “People had an immediate negative reaction to collecting Social Security numbers, even if it’s voluntary,” Thompson said. The council has filed joint comments in opposition of the change with Independent Sector and more than 200 other organizations.

Issues with the proposed amendment are threefold, according to Thompson, and include:

  • Whether or not the voluntary collection of Social Security numbers could lead to the requirement to do so;
  • The possibility that watchdog groups could consider the collection of Social Security numbers a best practice, hurting organizations’ ratings should they choose not to; and,
  • That the amendment would contradict the general practice that donors should not disclose Social Security numbers to charities.

The council has yet to take an official position on the Senate bill, but has backed the House proposal, according to Thompson. Describing Rothfus and Higgins’ bill as “laser precise,” Thompson said that the legislation would remove the sticking point for most nonprofits, the collection of Social Security numbers, but leave the door open for reform that could benefit donors. Moving forward, Thompson expects for the council to analyze the proposals and be in communication with the House Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Committee on Finance.

Source Name: 
The NonProfit Times

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