DALLAS — A local branch of the IRS’ Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division is looking into the Clinton Foundation, according to the Dallas Observer.
This IRS review of the embattled charity has gone under the radar screen this election season, but it is definitely making waves.
Unfortunately, the Observer reports the IRS investigation will most likely not be complete before the November 8 election, but it could impact the first term of a Hillary Clinton presidency if she wins.
In Washington, D.C., many things start with words printed on congressional letterhead. Earlier this year, 64 GOP members of Congress asked the IRS to investigate why the foundation can keep its nonprofit status. The letter includes “media reports” claiming pay-to-play relationships between former President Bill Clinton, who received large speaking fees, and decisions made by Hillary Clinton to approve choices that benefited foundation donors. The sources of these reports range from The New York Times to hit-piece investigative books.
In July, the IRS sent letters back to the Congress informing members the review had begun. The letter also noted that the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (TE/GE) office in Dallas would be conducting the review.
IRS spokespeople in Dallas and Washington won’t say why the review is being conducted in Dallas. Spokespeople claim even this information would violate rules — Code 6103, staff make sure to cite — that stop them from discussing ongoing examinations. IRS officials declined to provide details about the Dallas office, including its size, or comment on the TE/GE work in general.
On its website, the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division refers the operators of nonprofits as “customers.” Their mission statement is: “To provide our customers top quality service by helping them understand and comply with applicable tax laws and to protect the public interest by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all.”
But the office does have a mandate to review claims of exemption, including conducting “examinations to identify and address non-compliance” like the one underway with the Clinton Foundation. One IRS document called the “Tax Exempt and Government Entities Fiscal Year 2017 Work Plan” gives a more complete picture. “Filing, organizational and operational and employment tax numbered among the top issues the Exempt Organizations Examinations group uncovered in its 4,984 examinations in 2016,” it says. “The filing issues primarily involved verifying exempt activities and securing delinquent returns.”
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