WRITTEN STATEMENT OF MARK W. EVERSON
COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE
BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE
UNITED STATES SENATE
EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS: ENFORCEMENT PROBLEMS,
ACCOMPLISHMENTS, AND FUTURE DIRECTION
APRIL 5, 2005
Mr. Chairman, Senator Baucus, distinguished members of the Committee: Thank you for
the opportunity to discuss a number of issues relating to tax-exempt organizations. The
country rightfully takes pride in its tax-exempt sector. It is composed of millions of
dedicated volunteers and staff who faithfully and impressively carry out critically
important work. On them, many within the United States and throughout the world rely.
My remarks will focus on problems with abuse that we are encountering in the tax-
exempt area. In making these observations, I am not talking about the inspiring work that
the charitable community does day-in and day-out. Nor am I overlooking that the
overwhelming majority of these organizations try hard to comply fully with the letter and
spirit of the tax law.
But we must recognize that we are now at an important juncture. We can see that abuse
is increasingly present in our sector, and we must work to address it. We will act
vigorously, for to do otherwise is to risk the loss of the faith and support that the public
has always given to the charitable community. And if that is lost, the bountiful vitality of
the American charitable sector will wither.
The Administration strongly encourages and supports donations to our charities. But you
and I share the same concern. Some entities now use their privileged status to achieve
ends that Congress never imagined when it conferred tax-exemption. They are wantonly
abusing the generosity and faith of the public. I therefore appreciate your efforts, and
those of the Joint Committee on Taxation, to consider changes that will make our
oversight of this area stronger, our ability to remediate abuse swifter, and the strength of
the charitable sector more secure.
As I beg