If the run-a-private-election-for-president effort called Americans Elect is a 501c4 corporation, as it claims, then it should have filed a Form 1024 with the Internal Revenue Service. That’s the form by which a group applies for recognition of exemption under Section 501. The IRS declares that “a social welfare organization seeking recognition under section 501(c)(4) must complete Parts I through III and Schedule B.” As you can see in Americans Elect’s corporate filings, it has explicitly described itself as a social welfare organization. For over a year now Americans Elect has declared itself to be a 501c4 corporation. It ought to have filed a Form 1024 by now.
501c4 corporations are required by the IRS to share Form 1024 with members of the public upon request. And yet, despite multiple requests I’ve made by multiple means, Americans Elect has not made its Form 1024 available, blasting long past its 30-day deadline for compliance.
What would the public have discovered about Americans Elect if Americans Elect had complied with federal requirements and shared its Form 1024 with the public? Take a look at the questions on Form 1024 to see for yourself:
4. Month the annual accounting period ends
5. Date incorporated or formed
7. Has the organization filed Federal income tax returns or exempt organization information returns?
Part II. Activities and Operational Information (Must be completed by all applicants)
1. Provide a detailed narrative description of all the activities of the organization—past, present, and planned. Do not merely refer to or repeat the language in the organizational document. List each activity separately in the order of importance based on the relative time and other resources devoted to the activity. Indicate the percentage of time for each activity. Each description should include, as a minimum, the following: (a) a detailed description of the activity including its purpose and how each activity furthers your exempt purpose; (b) when the activity was or will be initiated; and (c) where and by whom the activity will be conducted.
2. List the organization’s present and future sources of financial support, beginning with the largest source first.
3. Give the following information about the organization’s governing body:
a Names, addresses, and titles of officers, directors, trustees, etc. b Annual compensation
4. If the organization is the outgrowth or continuation of any form of predecessor, state the name of each predecessor, the period during which it was in existence, and the reasons for its termination. Submit copies of all papers by which any transfer of assets was effected.
5. If the applicant organization is now, or plans to be, connected in any way with any other organization, describe the other organization and explain the relationship (e.g., financial support on a continuing basis; shared facilities or employees; same officers, directors, or trustees).
7. State the qualifications necessary for membership in the organization; the classes of membership (with the number of members in each class); and the voting rights and privileges received. If any group or class of persons is required to join, describe the requirement and explain the relationship between those members and members who join voluntarily. Submit copies of any membership solicitation material. Attach sample copies of all types of membership certificates issued.
8. Explain how your organization’s assets will be distributed on dissolution.
9. Has the organization made or does it plan to make any distribution of its property or surplus funds to shareholders or members? Yes No
If “Yes,” state the full details, including: (1) amounts or value; (2) source of funds or property distributed or to be
distributed; and (3) basis of, and authority for, distribution or planned distribution.
10. Does, or will, any part of your organization’s receipts represent payments for services performed or to be performed?
If “Yes,” state in detail the amount received and the character of the services performed or to be performed.
11. Has the organization made, or does it plan to make, any payments to members or shareholders for services performed
or to be performed?
If “Yes,” state in detail the amount paid, the character of the services, and to whom the payments have been, or will
15. Has the organization spent or does it plan to spend any money attempting to influence the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of any person to any Federal, state, or local public office or to an office in a political organization?
If “Yes,” explain in detail and list the amounts spent or to be spent in each case.
Part III. Financial Data (Must be completed by all applicants)
Complete the financial statements for the current year and for each of the 3 years immediately before it. If in existence less than 4 years, complete the statements for each year in existence. If in existence less than 1 year, also provide proposed budgets for the 2 years following the current year.
A. Statement of Revenue and Expenses
(a) Current Tax Year 3 Prior Tax Years or Proposed Budget for Next 2 Years
1 Gross dues and assessments of members
2 Gross contributions, gifts, etc.
3 Gross amounts derived from activities related to
the organization’s exempt purpose (attach
schedule) (Include related cost of sales on line 9.)
4 Gross amounts from unrelated business activities (attach schedule)
5 Gain from sale of assets, excluding inventory items (attach schedule)
6 Investment income (see page 3 of the instructions)
7 Other revenue (attach schedule)
8 Total revenue (add lines 1 through 7)
Expenses attributable to activities related to the
organization’s exempt purposes
10 Expenses attributable to unrelated business activities
11 Contributions, gifts, grants, and similar amounts
paid (attach schedule)
12 Disbursements to or for the benefit of members (attach schedule)
13 Compensation of officers, directors, and trustees (attach schedule)
14 Other salaries and wages
17 Depreciation and depletion
18 Other expenses (attach schedule)
19 Total expenses (add lines 9 through 18)
Excess of revenue over expenses (line 8 minus line 19)
B. Balance Sheet
Wouldn’t this be pretty interesting and pretty telling information about Americans Elect? The American public could know these things about Americans Elect, if only Americans Elect would comply with federal regulations and comply with the multiple requests I’ve made to share Form 1024.
Why does Americans Elect refuse to share Form 1024 despite federal requirements that it do so? Beats me; I’ve asked Americans Elect why and its officials won’t answer my questions about that. If you’re interested in the answer, I suggest you ask Americans Elect directly. Try heading up to their headquarters 1 block away from the White House in the penthouse suite of 1775 Pennsylvania Avenue. Try making your request for the documents. If private security officers even let you get close to Americans Elect’s office door, you’ll be luckier than me.