The National Policy Institute, a think-tank headed by white nationalist activist Richard Spencer, has regained its status as a tax-exempt, charitable organization.
The Internal Revenue Service has reinstated the National Policy Institute’s status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, The Associated Press first reported Thursday, more than a year since it was stripped for repeatedly failing to file its tax returns.
An IRS official announced the reversal in a letter dated July 12, and Mr. Spencer said he became aware of the agency’s decision the following month, the AP reported.
“When we lost it, it did feel like persecution, to be honest,” said Mr. Spencer, 40, the National Policy Institute’s president and director since 2011.
The IRS posted a notice on its website in March 2017 announcing the revocation of the National Policy Institute’s nonprofit status, citing three years of unfilled tax returned.
IRS records indicate the agency mistakenly reclassified Mr. Spencer’s group as an organization exempt from filing returns in either 2006 or 2007, the AP reported.
The National Policy Institute “went through a long process” to get its status reinstated, Mr. Spencer added.
“They’ve looked through everything, and we came out fine,” he said.
The National Policy Institute generated $697,267 in tax-deductible contributions between 2007 and 2015, according to the AP.
A spokesperson for the IRS said the agency is prohibited from discussing individual taxpayers, the AP reported.
Founded in 2005 by white nationalist William H. Regnery II, the National Policy Institute was launched to “elevate the consciousness of whites” and “study the consequences of the ongoing influx that non-Western populations pose to our national identity,” according to its original mission statement.
The group, and its current leader in particular, gained notoriety more recently as a result of his participation in the “Unite the Right” rally last summer in Charlottesville, Virginia, where clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters culminated in chaos connected to the deaths of two state troopers and a counterprotester, Heather Heyer.
Heyer died after a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters. The driver of the car, suspect James Alex Fields Jr., has been charged with first-degree murder in connection to her death.