Business Briefs – July 17, 2018

New IRS Policy Allows Some Tax-Exempt Groups to Veil Donors

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is lifting requirements that some tax-exempt groups disclose the identities of their donors to federal tax authorities.

The change benefits groups that spend millions of dollars on political ads, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and an organization tied to the billionaire Koch brothers.

Republicans accused the Internal Revenue Service during President Barack Obama’s tenure of liberal bias and unfair targeting of conservative tax-exempt groups. Now those groups figure among the organizations allowed to withhold names of their donors under the new IRS policy announced late Monday.

Treasury Department officials portrayed the changes as important free-speech and privacy protections for donors, while also preserving government transparency. But critics see the easing of disclosure requirements as opening the door to more dark money in political campaigns.

Amazon Pokes Fun at Glitches, Says Tech Gadgets Popular

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon poked fun at the early glitches it saw with Prime Day, though it said shoppers still found plenty to buy. Analysts, meanwhile, saw other things Amazon could have done better, like discounting more fashion brands and taking more advantage of its acquisition of Whole Foods. Amazon touted Prime Day growth and said shoppers still found lots to buy, with tech gadgets in particular among the most popular.