Richard Spencer's white supremacist group just lost its tax-exempt status


National Policy Institute director and white supremacist organizer Richard Spencer has seemingly overlooked the filing of his organization's taxes for three consecutive years. As a result, the IRS has revoked the National Policy Institute's tax-exempt status.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday evening that the quasi-academic think tank behind a notorious Washington, D.C., conference in November, lost its tax-exempt status after the paper inquired whether Spencer had filed proper paperwork to fundraise in Virginia.

After Spencer took helm of the organization in 2011, the National Policy Institute apparently stopped filing its required IRS returns in 2012 and did not do so for the next three years. Any organization that fails file tax returns for three years automatically loses its tax-exempt status under IRS rules. The IRS stripped the National Policy Institute of its tax-exempt status retroactively as of May 15, 2016, the date NPI's 2015 return would have been due.

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Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer through the years
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Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer through the years
White nationalist leader Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute speaks on campus at an event not sanctioned by the school, at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, U.S. December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Spencer Selvidge
Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute arrives on campus to speak at an event not sanctioned by the school, at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, U.S. December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Spencer Selvidge
Undocumented Texas A&M students and their supporters protest silently as white nationalist leader Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute speaks on campus at an event not sanctioned by the school, at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, U.S. December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Spencer Selvidge
Organizer Preston Wigginton shakes hands with white nationalist leader Richard Spencer after introducing him at an event on campus not sanctioned by the school, at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, U.S. December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Spencer Selvidge
Jacob Jackson, a freshman international studies major, listens after asking a question to white nationalist leader Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute at an event not sanctioned by the school, at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, U.S. December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Spencer Selvidge
White nationalist leader Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute speaks on campus as a silent protester holds a placard at an event not sanctioned by the school, at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, U.S. December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Spencer Selvidge TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
White nationalist leader Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute speaks on campus during an event not sanctioned by the school, at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, U.S. December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Spencer Selvidge
White nationalist leader Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute waves goodbye after his speech during an event not sanctioned by the school, on campus at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, U.S. December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Spencer Selvidge
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: Richard Spencer is in town for the largest white nationalist and Alt Right conference of the year in Washington, DC on November 18, 2016. Spencer, a 38-year-old Dallas native and graduate of St. Mark's School of Texas prep school, is a key intellectual leader of the alternative right, a label he coined in 2008 to describe the radical conservative movement defined by white nationalism and a fervent resistance to multiculturalism and globalism. Spencer currently resides in the resort town of Whitefish, Montana, in what was described as a 'Bavarian-style mansion' in a profile in Mother Jones. He was born in Massachusetts but moved to the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas when he was about 2 years old. 'It was a fairly idyllic, suburban childhood,' Spencer said with a laugh. 'I remember riding bikes around the neighborhood, and so on. I guess you could say I lived in a bubble to a certain extent, like a lot of the kids in that area. But it was very nice.' (Photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: Richard Spencer is in town for the largest white nationalist and Alt Right conference of the year in Washington, DC on November 18, 2016. Spencer, a 38-year-old Dallas native and graduate of St. Mark's School of Texas prep school, is a key intellectual leader of the alternative right, a label he coined in 2008 to describe the radical conservative movement defined by white nationalism and a fervent resistance to multiculturalism and globalism. Spencer currently resides in the resort town of Whitefish, Montana, in what was described as a 'Bavarian-style mansion' in a profile in Mother Jones. He was born in Massachusetts but moved to the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas when he was about 2 years old. 'It was a fairly idyllic, suburban childhood,' Spencer said with a laugh. 'I remember riding bikes around the neighborhood, and so on. I guess you could say I lived in a bubble to a certain extent, like a lot of the kids in that area. But it was very nice.' (Photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: (L-R) Discussion panelists Peter Brimelow, Jared Taylor, Kevin MacDonald, 'Millenial Woes' (thats the name he goes by) and Richard Spencer field questions at an Alt Right ( alternative right) conference hosted by the National Policy Institute in Washington, DC on November 18, 2016. The think tank promotes white nationalism and critics accuse them of being racist and anti-semitic. The chairman of the National Policy Institute, Richard Spencer, has been permanently banned from entering the UK, and was deemed a 'national security threat' after his arrest in Hungary in 2014. He was recently banned from Twitter in a prominent purge by the company this week. (Photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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Virginia charity regulators have additionally "removed the entry for the National Policy Institute from their public database of nonprofits and began a review, which remained active as of Monday," the Times reported.

The Times also inquired whether Spencer's repeated endorsements of President Donald Trump and solicitation of funds to "fight against Hillary Clinton" would have violated 501(c)(3) nonprofit rules prohibiting partisan speech "in official organization publications or at official functions of the organization." But Louisiana State University law professor and former IRS attorney Philip T. Hackney told Times "as a technical matter, they can't have violated the provision, because they weren't a charity anyway."

However, the political comments may come back into play if Spencer asks the IRS to reinstate its tax-exempt status, which is not automatic and requires IRS review.

Spencer's defense was not exactly encouraging. "I don't know what to say," he said to the Los Angeles Times. "I don't want to make a comment because I don't understand this stuff. It's a bit embarrassing, but it's not good. We'll figure it out."

At the Washington, D.C., conference, Spencer toasted the rise of the Third Reich and told attendees, "Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!" to a slew of Nazi salutes.

The rise of the alt-right, the loosely organized and mostly digital network of far-right and racist activists that sprung to prominence during the presidential election, has likewise brought high-profile coverage to Spencer. But his most visible moment in the public eye was likely during Trump's inauguration in January, when an anti-fascist organizer punched Spencer in the face during a video interview. In February, security booted Spencer out of CPAC, the prominent conservative political convention.

Spencer did not respond to a request for comment from Mic.

AOL contributed to this report
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