NRA Says CEO Wayne LaPierre Abused Of Benefits In Tax Filing
The National Rifle Association (NRA) said that it has become aware of a “significant diversion of its assets” in a 2019 990-tax form. This public filing lists organization assets and liabilities on one of its first pages and breaks down employee compensation later in the document.
The nonprofit tax-exempt organization’s 2019 filing states that CEO Wayne LaPierre and five former executives received “excess benefits.” The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses the term to describe nonprofit entity’s executives use an internal business organization funds to enrich themselves.
“The National Rifle Association became aware during 2019 of a significant diversion of its assets during 2019 and for prior calendar years,” the filing states.
New York’s Attorney General Letitia James sued the NRA this spring to dissolve the corporation for letting employees abuse the group’s funds and tax-exempt status.
Schedule O’s first page on Form 990 of the NRA’s 2019 tax return describes exactly how much group executives stole by listing relevant assets and liabilities – including salary and benefits.
Typically, the returns are meant for tax-exempt organizations, which state that it “has identified what it believes are excess benefit transactions in which it engaged in 2019 and in prior calendar years of which it became aware but were not reported on its prior forms 990.”
The form names eight current and former NRA executives whom it believes received “excess benefits,” including its current executive vice president and CEO, Wayne LaPierre. Much of the disputed expenses involve travel and personal expenses, and the NRA states in the filing that it is reviewing whether board members “may have used first class or business class travel without authorization required under the NRA’s travel policy.”
The filing states that the NRA estimates it paid nearly $300,000 in travel expenses on behalf of LaPierre between 2015 and 2019.
“The NRA has determined to treat the payments as automatic excess benefits under Treasury Regulations section 53.4959-4(C),” the filing states. “Mr. LaPierre has repaid this excess benefit to the National Rifle Association, plus interest, and therefore the excess benefit has been corrected.”