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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, February 8, 2013

Why Are IRS Audits of Charities Up 79% Under President Obama?

Fox News:  Why are IRS Audits on Charities Up By 79% Under Team Obama?:

With so many Americans fighting to stay afloat economically, one might think the Obama administration would be inclined to support, not thwart, the work charities perform. But consider this startling finding from the Government Accountability Institute: under Mr. Obama, IRS audits for tax-exempt organizations have jumped 79% over what they were under President George W. Bush.

According to IRS data, the IRS audited an average of 6,205 returns of tax-exempt organizations per year from 2001 to 2008. From 2009 to 2011, however, the number of audited returns spiked to an average of 11,111 per year....

Whatever the White House's motivation for honing in on tax-exempt organizations, boosting IRS audit rates of charities by 79% at a time when they are already struggling to secure scarce resources to serve their missions seems, at minimum, a gross misallocation of time, energy, and taxpayer dollars. At worst, it is further evidence of a White House determined to flex its political muscle to keep organizations dependent and fearful. Either way, it needs to stop.

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The more charities that are shut down, the more people become dependent on the government.

Posted by: Woody | Feb 8, 2013 6:43:07 PM

A quick look at the audit figures shows that over the last three years only about 1.35% of charitable returns have been subject to audit. This is not that much higher than in the last three years of the Bush Administration. It is, in fact, the most recent evolution of a trend that began with the Bush Administration.

Posted by: Stuart Levine | Feb 8, 2013 8:38:55 PM

What a joke this TRUE charities or make believe ...or just tax exempts...Fox doesn't know what it is talking about as usual.....The IRS should be looking at all tax exempts.....or tax evaders maskerading as a charity and Fox is saying "oh please don't increase oversight.....

Posted by: Sid | Feb 8, 2013 10:03:24 PM

Since not all exempt organizations are charities, the headline is misleading. It would be interesting to see the breakdown of audits by type of exempt organization.

Posted by: Susan Winchester | Feb 9, 2013 12:22:04 PM