On October 27, 2013, an article in the Washington Post detailed its analysis of IRS Form 990 tax returns between 2007 and 2012. A Form 990 tax return is required to be filed annually by tax exempt non-profit or charitable organizations.
The Washington Post found that more than 1,000 non-profits reported to the IRS that a significant portion of their charitable assets was lost due to embezzlement, fraud, theft and other improper uses of funds. As a result of The Washington Post’s article, several congressmen have expressed interest in this issue, including whether the public should know when charitable donations are diverted to non-charitable activities or are otherwise lost. In one instance, according to The Washington Post, the American Legacy Foundation lost $3.4 million through embezzlement by a former employee but only told the IRS that the amount of the loss was more than $250,000.00. Would you like to know if your charity lost or misused the funds that you donated?