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IRS takes action against 275,000 groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, for failing to file disclosure forms.

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CAIR Loses Tax-Exempt Status

IRS takes action against 275,000 groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, for failing to file disclosure forms.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has lost its tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service for failing to file legally required annual reports for three consecutive years, the federal agency said.  CAIR is one of 275,000 groups targeted by the IRS for being out of compliance with filing requirements.  “The IRS believes the vast majority of these organizations are defunct, but it also announced special steps to help any existing organizations to apply for reinstatement of their tax-exempt status,” the agency said in announcing the action.

The new rules come from congressional action in 2006 under the Pension Protection Act that automatically revokes the tax-exempt status of groups that fail to comply.

The IRS says it made an extensive effort to inform organizations of the changes, including mailing more than 1 million notices to organizations that had not filed.

Last year the agency published a list of at-risk groups and gave smaller organizations an additional five months to file required notices to come into compliance.  About 50,000 organizations filed during this extension period, the IRS said.

“During the past several years, the IRS has gone the extra mile to help make tax-exempt groups aware of their legal filing requirement and allow them additional time to file,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said.  “Still, we realize there may be some legitimate organizations, especially very small ones, that were unaware of their new filing requirement.  We are taking additional steps for these groups to maintain their tax-exempt status without jeopardizing their operations or harming their donors.”

CAIR must now reapply to have its tax-exempt status reinstated and pay a fee of up to $850.

This action “should have little, if any, impact on donors” who made contributions prior to the IRS action, the agency said.

However, if CAIR and other organizations affected are not reinstated, all income they receive going forward will be taxable.

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Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Events‚?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audrey‚??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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