"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nothing to see here...

"The Federal Trade Commission and 58 law enforcement partners from every state and the District of Columbia have charged four sham cancer charities and their operators with bilking more than $187 million from consumers. The defendants told donors their money would help cancer patients, including children and women suffering from breast cancer, but the overwhelming majority of donations benefited only the perpetrators, their families and friends, and fundraisers. This is one of the largest actions brought to date by enforcers against charity fraud.

According to the complaint, the defendants used the organizations for lucrative employment for family members and friends, and spent consumer donations on cars, trips, luxury cruises, college tuition, gym memberships, jet ski outings, sporting event and concert tickets, and dating site memberships. They hired professional fundraisers who often received 85 percent or more of every donation."
Only thing that seems to be missing from the charges are political activities on the part of the operators.   Which, we think, are not permissible for charitable organizations.
Here is a quote from an IRS bulletin dated November 19, 2007 on this topic – http://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Reminds-Charities-and-Churches-of-Political-Activity-Ban
The Internal Revenue Service today reminded section 501(c)(3) organizations, including charities and churches that federal law prohibits them from becoming directly or indirectly involved in campaigns of political candidates.

The prohibition against political campaign activity has been in effect for more than half a century and bars certain tax-exempt organizations from engaging on behalf of or in opposition to political candidates. However, these organizations can engage in advocating for or against issues and, to a limited extent, ballot initiatives or other legislative activities.

“The political contests, especially for president, are starting earlier than usual. The IRS, as it has in the past, wants to remind charities and churches of the ban on political campaign activity. We also want to urge nonprofit and religious organizations to review the guidance we have issued to help them avoid any problems,” said Steven T. Miller, Commissioner of IRS’ Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division.”
Can you think of a charitable or not for profit organization with one (or more) of its operators involved, directly or indirectly, in political campaign activities?
Oh, we just thought of something that we read recently while doing research.   Probably has nothing to do with this essay  – “….the Clinton Global Initiative is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all fees are considered to be tax-deductible contributions."  Source:  https://www.clintonfoundation.org/
Move along folks.  Nothing to see here.


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