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Review of ACORN Tax-exempt Status
September 22, 2009
ACORN and IRS Responses
ACORN, through its attorney, provided three responses to your letter of October
25, 2006. ACORN’s response was essentially that it was not a tax-exempt
After receiving ACORN’s first response dated November 3, 2006, you wrote to
the Internal Revenue Service on November 8, 2006. IRS responded on
December 19, 2006. Most of the response and supporting materials provided by
the IRS are protected under section 6103. IRS confirmed that ACORN is a
taxable entity and that the ten organizations listed in your letter were tax-exempt.
IRS indicated that it would continue to look for additional affiliated organizations.
We have not communicated with IRS about ACORN since receiving that
Shortly after receiving ACORN’s third response, we determined that ACORN did
not intend to comply with your requests for information. We had consulted with
the Chairman’s staff about issuing a subpoena for the requested information.
Because the U.S. Attorney’s office was conducting an investigation of ACORN on
the issue of voter registration fraud, a decision was made not to pursue the
subpoena at that time.
Since then, we have researched over 100 organizations identified by various
sources as affiliated with ACORN. We began with a list published by the
Employment Policies Institute in its report “Rotten ACORN: America’s Bad Seed”.
We then searched Guidestar.org and all online state corporate records
databases, except Maine, New Jersey and Oklahoma because these states
either did not have online records or charged fees. We also searched for entities
on Guidestar.org using addresses affiliated with ACORN. Finally, we conducted
general internet searches for organizations not found on Guidestar or in state
corporate records databases.
Our research indicates that ACORN’s response that it is not tax-exempt is