NAACP Will Challenge the IRS Threat in Federal Court

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced today that it is taking steps to challenge in federal court the Internal Revenue Service's threat to revoke the NAACP's tax-exempt status because its Chairman, Julian Bond, criticized the Bush administration's policies in a speech in 2004.

NAACP President Bruce S. Gordon said: "We remain concerned that the IRS's decision to audit the NAACP, particularly the timing of the commencement of this audit, was motivated by politics rather than grounded in the federal tax law. Frankly, the way the case has been handled by the IRS to date, including dragging its feet on several outstanding Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, it seems that the government's strategy is to delay and withhold information in the hope that we'll concede. Well, the NAACP doesn't give up so easily. We must defend the principles at stake and demand better treatment on behalf of the countless organizations in our sector that need clear guidance in this area."

As a protective measure, the NAACP filed a form with the IRS in September (Form 4720) to report and pay the estimated amount of tax related to Bond's speech as if it had constituted campaign intervention. Bond made his remarks during the 2004 NAACP Convention in Philadelphia. The NAACP estimates that it spent a total of $176.48 to disseminate the speech

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