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IRS Crushes Credit Counseling Groups Claiming Non-Profit Status
Richard A. Chapo

Many credit counseling groups claim they are in it just to help you and not make a profit as indicated by their charitable organization status. The IRS is not happy.
IRS Crushes Credit Counseling Groups Claiming Non-Profit Status
For the last five years, the IRS has been taking a much closer look at businesses claiming to be non-profit organizations. Given the reduction of tax loopholes over the years, the agency has taken note of the fact that many high-end tax strategies now involve some kind of charitable organization. In performing the analysis, the IRS has found no worse a collection of abusive businesses than the credit counseling industry.
Beginning in 2004, the IRS audited 63 credit counseling groups claiming non-profit status. These "charitable organizations" receive over fifty percent of all the revenues in the credit counseling industry, to wit, we are talking a major audit initiative. Well, guess what the IRS found?
To date, the IRS has completed 41 of the audits. Of these 41 audits, every single credit counseling business has had their non-profit status revoked, proposed for revocation or outright termination. Yes, every single entity has bitten the dust! Can anyone think of a bigger scam?
In crushing these bad apples, the IRS found a couple of amazing things. The primary reason for revocation was the groups provided insufficient public benefit. They offered little or no counseling or education to individuals. Instead, they were primarily motivated by profit according to the IRS. To top things off, the IRS found most of the businesses had "unique" dealings with for profit companies that just happened to be owned by the same interested parties. Imagine that! Shocking, I tell you.
It must be admitted that these rotten apples only represent roughly forty to fifty percent of the credit counseling industry. The rest of the industry that has not been audited might be entirely legitimate. The IRS does not seem to think so. In fact, it has sent out audit notices to every single company that has not yet been audited. I suspect the blood bath is just going to get worse.
In truth, not all credit counseling agencies are dubiously claiming non-profit status. The IRS, in fact, has noted it approved a whopping three applications for non-profit status out of 100 since 2003! Unfortunately, the IRS hasn't indicated the identity of the three.

Richard A. Chapo is with - providing information on taxes. Visit us to get more tax help.




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