The Council on Foundations and the Knight Foundation have released a report, 'The IRS and Nonprofit Media: Toward Creating a More Informed Public,' in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with a panel discussion that features journalism, legal, and nonprofit leaders, including INN's CEO Kevin Davis. Download the full report on the Council's website.
In response to the report, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sent a letter to Secretary of Treasury Jacob Lew, recommending the report's findings be considered carefully. Download the letter.
The report highlights five key problems with the current IRS approach:
1. Applications for tax exempt status are processed inconsistently and take too long.
2. The IRS approach appears to undervalue journalism.
3. The IRS approach appears to inhibit the long-term sustainability of tax-exempt media organizations.
4. Confusion may be inhibiting nonprofit entrepreneurs trying to address the information needs of communities.
5. The IRS approach does not sufficiently recognize the changing nature of digital media.
Steven Waldman, The IRS should allow news to evolve - USA Today
Joel Kramer, How the IRS treats nonprofit media - MinnPost
Justin Ellis, Report: The IRS's "antiquated and counterproductive" rules are hurting nonprofit news orgs - Nieman Lab
Suzanne Perry, IRS urged to revamp how it grants charity status to news outlets - Chronicle of Philanthropy
Sara Morrison, Journalism startups struggle to get nonprofit designation - CJR
Ben Mook, Report: IRS needs to change "antiquated" approach to nonprofit news startups - Current
Panel discussion, Nonprofit journalism and the IRS - Vimeo