July 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department and IRS announced Monday certain tax-exempt organizations will no longer be required to provide personally identifiable information about donors.
Under the change, non-profit organizations such as labor unions, volunteer fire departments, issue-advocacy groups, local chambers of commerce, veterans groups and community service clubs will no longer be required to list the names and addresses of their donors on Schedule B of their annual returns, the department said.
"Americans shouldn't be required to send the IRS information that it doesn't need to effectively enforce our tax laws, and the IRS simply does not need tax returns with donor names and addresses to do its job in this area," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Previously Congress directed the IRS to collect donor information of contributors who gave at least $5,000 to charities that accept tax-deductible contributions. The IRS received a full version of this information, while redacted forms without identifying information about donors were released publicly.
Mnuchin said the change will "in no way limit transparency" and the same information will still be made available to the public, while better protecting donor information.
"The IRS' new policy for certain tax-exempt organizations will make our tax system simpler and less susceptible to abuse," he said.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky praised the decision as a positive development for political donors.
"The IRS' decision is a move in the right direction to end activist regulators' culture of intimidation to silence political speech," McConnell said. "More and more states were using these documents to chill political discourse, rather than encourage it."
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the decision would give the IRS fewer tools to determine whether affected groups are following the law.
"President Trump's late-night giveaway to shady donors and interest groups makes dark money even darker," Pelosi said. "The [National Rifle Association] and other special interest groups can now fully operate in the shadows and push their corrupt agendas without any transparency or accountability."