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IRS Investigates Pay, Benefits in Nonprofit Groups

By Tavia Evans Gilchrist

March 15, 2007

Many tax-exempt organizations are incorrectly reporting or leaving out compensation details for key officers and employees in their annual filings, according to a report released this month by the Internal Revenue Service.

The report, based on an investigation by the Exempt Organization office of the IRS, showed mixed compliance results for 1,826 organizations, including public charities and private foundations, examined by the IRS’ project.

So far, the IRS has assessed or proposed more than $21 million in excise taxes to 25 organizations and against 40 individuals or organization managers it found in violation of rules on excess benefit transactions.  The report does not name which groups were examined.

Organizations penalized included groups with excessive salary and incentive compensation or where payments for vacation homes, personal legal fees, personal automobiles, meals, and gifts made by the organization were not reported accurately.