This is one of those few stories about an IRS loss. You might want to write this down!!!
From a San Francisco Judge:
Public.Resource.org asked the Internal Revenue Service to provide some 990 forms. These forms show non-profit expenses had been filed digitally by nine tax-exempt organizations. The request was made by the organization to see what kind of expenses and write-offs had been claimed by these nine.
In response, the IRS said no. Claimed it would be too expensive to comply with the Freedom of Information Act request. They specifically claimed that it would cost $6,200 in needed training and technology to comply. According to the IRS response, it would be an undue burden to provide the documents, due to its “sequestration level” funding (Courthouse News). That IRS denial became a true cost!
Once the IRS denied their request, Public.Resource.org sued for enforcement of the request, and costs and attorney fees associated with the filing and request. In January, a federal judge in San Francisco said the expense didn’t excuse the IRS from complying with the FOIA request.
Here’s the kicker: Last Friday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick awarded almost $239,400 in attorney’s fees and costs to the nonprofit organization.
As the Judge put it, “I am persuaded that the outcome of this case is likely to enhance the public’s ability to analyze and understand information in Form 990s, and that this represents a meaningful advancement of the public interest.”
Note to the IRS… this blog is just noting the facts :<)
And for pic o’ day… because I like pictures!