Douglas Varley Talks to The Washington Post on NRA's Tax Exempt Status
Documents indicate that the National Rifle Association planned to purchase a luxury mansion in the Dallas area last year for the use of chief executive Wayne LaPierre, according to two people familiar with the records.
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Douglas Varley, an attorney whose practice focuses on tax-exempt organizations, said if the NRA had purchased a house for LaPierre, it would have had to justify to the IRS that he needed it to do his job. Otherwise, the NRA would have had to report the purchase in its tax filing as part of LaPierre’s compensation.
“Both of those strike me as extraordinarily high bars to get over,” Varley said. He added that the IRS could revoke the NRA’s tax-exempt status on the grounds of “inurement,” meaning the organization’s leadership is treating its assets as private property.
Even though the real estate deal didn’t go through, Varley said, the activity around the house “says something about how the organization is being run and for whose benefit. These things are fundamental to nonprofit organizations.”
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