The IRS, which plans to go through each one of the comments, is not in for a lot of positive feedback. According to an analysis by the conservative Center for Competitive Politics, which analyzed every 100th comment, 94.37% of the feedback is partially or fully against the proposal. “The quantity is impressive,” said David Keating, the center’s president. “But the quality of comments and the diversity of political views that all agree the proposed regulations are misguided is incredible.”
The suggested rules, which attempt to lay out clear boundaries for when a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization veers into political activity, have been lambasted by groups as varied as the ACLU and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In a 36-page comment filed Thursday, a coalition of the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU and some of the other biggest unions in the country wrote that they “have grave concerns” about what the regulation would mean for labor unions, which are set up under a different section of the tax code. Even campaign finance advocates, who have applauded the IRS for seeking to regulate nonprofits, have suggested fixes.
What’s next? At least one public hearing on the proposal. And lots and lots of reading.