IRS Proposes Dangerous Donor Reporting Rule

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposed a new rule in September that would allow charities to voluntarily report to the IRS contributions of more than $250. For donors reported to the IRS, the new rule would require the donor's name, address, and Social Security number.  Today, we filed this public comment:

The National Legal and Policy Center, a 501(c) (3) organization, opposes the proposed rule “Substantiation Requirement for Certain Contributions.”

It seems more than strange that the IRS would propose this rule in the wake of its illegal and Unconstitutional attempts to impede, delay and/or deny tax-exempt status to Tea Party and conservative groups. The proposed rule seems calculated to achieve the same result by opening donors to intimidation, harassment and vilification.

The voluntary nature of the proposed disclosure does not make it less dangerous.  Should the IRS at some future time deem voluntary disclosure a “success,” it will no

Sharpton’s Tax Problems Get More Scrutiny

I was a guest this morning on Fox & Friends to discuss Al Sharpton’s longstanding practice of not paying his taxes. Here’s the video:

 

The discussion was prompted by an article on National Review Online by Jillian Kay Melchior that reports that each and every for-profit Sharpton entity has been shut down by authorities in at least one jurisdiction for failing to pay taxes.

Melchior’s story confirms a pattern also seen with his nonprofit groups and his political campaigns: Sharpton does not pay his bills.

Sharpton has run what are akin to “bust out” schemes. Sharpton takes in money for a project or cause. He lives lavishly on the cash flow, and then creditors, including taxation authorities, are left holding the bag.

Sharpton’s for-profit, nonprofit and political enterprises have always been hopelessly intertwined and conflated, often in violation of the law, …

IRS Scandal: America Needs the Truth

Boehm headshotNLPC Chairman Ken Boehm was interviewed for CNN’s “The Truth about the IRS Scandal” airing this week on “Erin Burnett OutFront,” at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET. He has this op-ed posted today on the CNN website today:

America can handle the truth. Even if that truth could include a coverup at the powerful IRS.

The IRS mission statement pledges to “enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all.” But public scrutiny has revealed details indicating a level of politicization totally at odds with that.

Look at the two eye-opening developments that have happened at the IRS since May: An acting IRS commissioner resigned, and another powerful IRS official refused to answer questions before Congress, pleading the Fifth Amendment.

Whatever is going on, there is only one way to proceed, and that is a professional and thorough investigation.

Click here to read entire op-ed.

Related:

IRS Stalled

Did IRS Target Homebuilders on Behalf of Laborers Union?

Ray LaHood photoIn the fall of 2011 the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) submitted Freedom of Information requests to the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service following an announcement that the administration was investigating homebuilders in an attempt to bolster union membership at the expense of housing sector jobs.

To read article by John Ransom at Townhall.com, click here.

 …

Were Republicans Targeted in GM and Chrysler Dealership Closures?

Chevrolet dealership photoThe IRS scandal that revealed targeting of conservative groups by the Treasury Department has reopened speculation that the Obama-orchestrated auto bailouts unfairly targeted Republican-leaning dealerships for closure. Republican Congressmen Mike Kelly (PA) and Jim Renacci (OH) have penned a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew requesting documentation so that an investigation can determine what criteria was used to shutter dealers that appear to have had one thing in common: their political affiliations.

The outrageous behavior of the IRS in targeting non-profit organizations with conservative roots, like the Tea Party, for extra scrutiny came at around the same time that General Motors and Chrysler were being guided through bankruptcy processes by the Treasury Department. Obama’s Auto Task Force required that GM and Chrysler close about 2,000 dealerships as part of the restructuring. This job-killing decision came at the same time that the Administration boasted about all the jobs that would be …

IRS Expedited Tax Exemption for Obama Foundation While Stiffing Tea Party

Lois Lerner photoIn May 2011, the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate the Barack H. Obama Foundation, which was soliciting tax-deductible contributions from the public although it was not tax exempt. The Foundation is named for Obama’s father and is based in Kenya. Its founder and chairman is Abon’go Malik Obama, whose father is also the father of President Obama.

The IRS not only failed to investigate, but in June 2011 it retroactively granted the Obama Foundation tax-exempt status. Click here to see the letter from Lois Lerner (in photo), Director of the Exempt Organizations division.

It appears that the Obama Foundation was treated quite differently from Tea Party and conservative groups seeking nonprofit status. Soliciting tax-deductible contributions before applying for tax-exempt status is against the law, and should have been an impediment, if not an outright disqualification, from being granted such status.…

Sharpton’s Finances in Disarray Despite Bloomberg Support

Al Sharpton, Michael BloombergBy any reasonable standard, Reverend Al Sharpton is the most powerful black civil-rights leader in New York City, if not the entire nation. So why are the finances of his nearly two-decade-old nonprofit organization, National Action Network (NAN), in such apparent shambles? A number of people, including the IRS, a prominent New York accounting firm and the management of Memphis’ finest hotel, would like to know. Ironically, the group’s troubles, highlighted in a recent investigative report appearing in the New York Post, have occurred despite an infusion of more than $100,000 from a philanthropy driven by one of America’s richest men. One dreads to think what the federal deficit would look like today had Sharpton been elected president in 2004.

For all his clout, “The Rev,” as Sharpton is known, can’t seem to catch a break these days. His rally in Washington, D.C. on August 28th to commemorate the 47th …

NYC-Area Scam Artist Can’t Keep $12 Million

currency transaction reportHis name was Joseph Castello. But for years he was known to his associates as “Joey Checks.” That’s because for almost a decade Castello handled other peoples’ checks – more than $600 million worth, in fact. And about a third of that sum was laundered. On July 7, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, ruled that Castello had to pay forfeiture in the amount of $12,012,924.31 and vacate all claims to his $9 million Greenwich, Connecticut home. The decision reverses an earlier ruling by U.S. District Judge Leonard Wexler who had deemed any forfeiture excessive. Evidence indicates the circuit court made the right call. 

Joey Castello, now 46, aided by wife Dana Schwartz Castello and three other persons, during 1995-2004 ran what on the surface was a legitimate check-cashing operation in the New York City area. About $200 million of the estimated $660 million …

Congress Passes, Obama Signs First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension/Expansion

IRS cashHomeownership as a moral right has been the great unspoken reason for the nation’s financial collapse of the past year and a half. And unfortunately Congress and successive administrations appear all too willing to recreate the very conditions that led to the disaster. President Obama today signed a $24 billion economic stimulus bill one of whose main features is an extension and expansion of a “temporary” first-time homebuyer tax credit worth up to $8,000 per household. The House and Senate each passed the measure earlier this week by the respective margins of 403-12 and 98-0. In so doing, lawmakers laid the groundwork for even more inefficiency and corruption. 

The first-time homebuyer tax credit program amounts to a housing industry equivalent of the auto industry’s “Cash for Clunkers” program. Created last summer at the urging of the Bush administration, the program was expanded this February as part of the Obama …

First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Program Rife with Fraud; IRS Employees in on Scam

IRS refundDespite its brief existence, the federal government’s $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers already has proven to be a costly boondoggle. And in what appears to be an act of unintended comedy, Congress is primed to extend and expand this “temporary” program beyond its November 30 deadline. On Thursday, October 22, J. Russell George, inspector general for the Internal Revenue Service, testified before a House Ways and Means subcommittee that the tax credit has been rife with inefficiency and fraud. Among those scamming the program, he believes, are more than 50 IRS employees. This interim report, George emphasized, if anything, understates the problem. 

Such an outcome shouldn’t come as a stunner. With homeownership now almost a matter of moral right and mortgage lending becoming more than ever nationalized, the tax credit is ripe for the picking. Congress passed and President Bush signed the program into law in July

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