Tuesday, April 7, 2009

IRS to Dig Deeper into Rabbitholes

Is Scientology a religion? If you ask a member, they, of course, will say yes and most likely accuse you of a hate crime just for inquiring. But, it seems when they got their 501 Exemption from the IRS, it does not necessarily make them a religion.
For instance, the Animal Humane Society falls under the same classification as Scientology, but they aren't claiming to be a church.

But it seems Scientology has covered themselves by including other Exempt Purposes like buying up historical buildings, and creating front groups like CCHR. Well, it seems the IRS is going to be looking a little deeper behind the scenes of tax-exempt organizations.

wsj.com 4/6/09 WASHINGTON Lois Lerner, the IRS's director of tax-exempt organizations, told a gathering of lawyers representing charities Monday that scrutiny of nonprofits' pay practices is likely to increase. Nonprofit leaders should be sure to practice due diligence in making sure their executive pay can be justified through data on comparable practices at similar organizations, she said.

Ms. Lerner of the IRS said the agency's redesign of charities' annual tax form – known as Form 990 – will make it easier for people to find information on executive pay. That makes it incumbent for charities to pay close attention to their pay policies, she said. The new form provides "a lot more information" on executive pay, she said.

The new form, redesigned for the first time in some 20 years, triggers detailed disclosures of various compensation perks under certain circumstances, such as when an employee makes more than $150,000. Among the compulsory disclosures: First-class air travel, expense accounts, housing allowances and the use of bodyguards, chauffeurs and personal lawyers.

I'm interested in how much David Miscavage is going to claim for compensation and all his perks at Golden Era Productions, never mind what he spends on bodyguards, chauffeurs and personal lawyers. That's going to be one deep rabbit hole.

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