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AARP Offers Detailed Response to Republicans’ Questioning of Non-Profit Tax Status

GOP trio on House Ways and Means see ‘conflict between AARP’s drive for profits, the best interests of its members’ - see video response

May 11, 2011 – It was no April Fool’s joke when AARP leaders went before the House Ways and Means subcommittees on health and oversight last April 1 to respond to charges by Republican leaders of the committees that there is a “conflict between AARP’s drive for profits, the best interests of its members and the organization’s tax-exempt status." It was the beginning of a detailed response by AARP to the allegations.

The report detailing the changes was released by House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee chairman Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) and health subcommittee chairman Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.), along with Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.).

The hearing was held April 1 to review the report and discuss AARP's organizational structure and finances. The investigative report is titled, "Behind the Veil: The AARP America Doesn’t Know.”


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Since then, AARP has established a web site to further respond and let people know more about its operation -

At issue, says AARP is “does the nonprofit organization’s business model conflict with its advocacy, education and service commitment to people older than 50?”

“Most of the questions raised by the report have already have been asked and answered by previous Congresses,” says AARP President Lee Hammond.

“Because we respect the role of Congress in these inquiries, AARP again cooperated with the requests for information and provided hundreds of pages of documents to be responsive.

“AARP is proud of the work it does on behalf of its millions of members and all people 50+, and we want people to be able to judge for themselves whether the report’s inferences are accurate, since AARP disagrees with the conclusions.

“Therefore, we have posted our annual reports, Form 990s and other public filings, as well as charts on AARP’s revenues and expenditures on our website at

"In addition, we’ve included the information that AARP voluntarily sent to Congressional staff at their request over the last several months.

“Finally, AARP is most disturbed by the accusation that our support of any legislation would be done with revenue in mind. AARP has long-maintained that we would gladly forgo revenue in exchange for lifetime health and financial security for all older Americans. We have been conducting ourselves in pursuit of that mission for more than 50 years with the same focus on affecting both public policy officials and the private marketplace to achieve our social welfare goals.

“AARP is confident that upon review the public will agree that our organization operates with the utmost integrity and responsibility. We look forward to answering any further questions about AARP’s work on behalf of the 50+ population that the subcommittees may have at their announced hearing on April 1.”

Among the links to more of AARP’s response that are found at the website are the following.

   ●  AARP CEO A. Barry Rand’s prepared testimony before the hearing of the House Ways and Means subcommittees on health and oversight.

   ● Reps. Boustany, Herger and Reichert sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service calling for an investigation into the organization's tax-exempt status. Here is AARP's response.

   ● The report and testimony can be found on the House Ways and Means Committee website.

   ● Who is AARP? Click here for a quick read on our history and how we do what we do.

   ● AARP reports - and releases - every year where our revenues come from and how we use them to help everyone age with dignity and purpose; however, we recognize, there were still some questions. The longer, publicly available, official IRS form 990s are available by clicking here.

   ● AARP is a 501(c)(4) organization. What is that and why is AARP considered one? Click here for a quick explanation based on IRS definitions.

There is much more information and many more links at the response website:


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