California requires a charity subject to its registration requirements to submit its IRS Form 990 including Schedule B (Schedule of Contributors) with its annual registrations to the Registry of Charitable Trusts. The list of major contributors, which remains confidential pursuant to current policy and proposed regulations*, may not be redacted from the filing.
While the right of the California Attorney General to require the unredacted Schedule of Contributors has been challenged by organizations, last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision to deny a preliminary injunction against the Attorney General. Notwithstanding this decision, the Ninth Circuit has yet to issue an order to compel the appellate, the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP), to file the unredacted Schedule with the Registry of Charitable Trusts. On May 15, 2015, CCP filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, but it was denied by Justice Anthony Kennedy. CCP intends to file a full appeal this summer.
* Proposed Regulation 301.1
Donor information treated as confidential by the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to Internal Revenue Code section 6104(d)(3)(A) shall be treated as confidential by the Attorney General and shall not be disclosed except as follows:
1. In a court or administrative proceeding brought pursuant to the Attorney General’s charitable trust enforcement responsibilities; or
2. In response to a court order, search warrant, or administrative subpoena.
Read more …
Court Affirms California Attorney General’s Demand for Confidential Donor List – Seyfarth Shaw LLP
No protection — yet — for group’s donor privacy – SCOTUSblog