Montana Governor Sues IRS, Treasury Over Dark Money

Bullock challenges policy to end requirements that some tax-exempt groups disclose identities of major donors

By AMY BETH HANSON, Associated Press
Gov. Steve Bullock. Beacon File Photo

HELENA — Montana’s governor and the state Department of Revenue are suing the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of the Treasury over a recent decision to end the requirement that some tax-exempt groups disclose the identities of their major donors.

The change benefits groups that spend millions of dollars on political ads.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, argues the policy change would allow organizations to take unlimited corporate, or even foreign, contributions to influence elections.

Gov. Steve Bullock and the revenue department argue the policy change should be overturned because it was made without taking public comment and hurts states’ abilities to determine whether organizations should be given tax-exempt status.

Treasury officials have said the IRS doesn’t need the donor information to enforce tax laws and can request it in the case of an audit.

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