Three high-ranking House Ways & Means Republicans have sent a formal letter to the IRS requesting an investigation into the tax-exempt status of AARP, on the basis of their work in the insurance area.

House Oversight Subcommittee Chair Charles Boustany (R-LA), Health Subcommittee Chair Wally Herger (R-CA), and Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) sent the letter as a follow-up to their March 30 report detailing the more than $1 billion over ten years that they estimate AARP will make due to the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) by endorsing Medicare insurance products.  According to the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA), their letter to the IRS claims that this for-profit enterprise violates the organization’s 501(c)(4) status and asks that the IRS review their nonprofit status.  The letter outlines a few specific areas for examination, including:

  • The appropriateness of the members serving on AARP’s board of directors
  • The reasonableness of AARP’s executive compensation
  • How the money is managed between AARP’s (c)(3) and (c)(4) arms
  • The accuracy of AARP’s IRS disclosure forms, including their Form 990.

During the March 30 hearing on this topic, committee Democrats decried the investigation as politically motivated, specifically as a punishment for AARP supporting PPACA.  ”AARP’s connection with insurance companies is no more ‘under the veil’ than Donald Trump’s bald head,” said Health Subcommittee ranking member Pete Stark (D-CA) to BNA.