Records Sought About Tax-exempt Organizations for Committee’s Terror Finance Probe
WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, and Sen.Max Baucus, ranking member, have asked for information about tax-exempt organizations inconnection with a committee investigation into terrorism financing. The Committee on Finance hasjurisdiction over tax matters in the Senate.
A copy of the letter follows here.
December 22, 2003
The Honorable Mark Everson
Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20224
Via mail and telefax (202) 622-4733
Dear Commissioner Everson:
The purpose of this letter is to inquire about and conduct oversight on the issue of organizations, particularly tax-exempt organizations such as charities and foundations, which financeterrorism and perpetuate violence.
Many of these groups not only enjoy tax-exempt status, but their reputations as charities andfoundations often allows them to escape scrutiny, making it easier to hide and move their funds toother groups and individuals who threaten our national security. This support for the machinery ofterrorism not only violates the law and tax regulations, but it violates the trust that citizens have inthe large majority of charities, foundations and other groups that do good works in the United States.Government officials, investigations by federal agencies and the Congress, and other reportshave identified the crucial role that charities and foundations play in terror financing. While muchattention has been paid to where their money ends up, the source of their funds is equally important.
Often these groups are nothing more than shell companies for the same small group of people,moving funds from one charity to the next charity to hide the trail. These groups also receivedonations from foreign sources, including countries the government has identified as having asignificant problem with terrorism. The federal government and the Congress have identified severalcountries – some of which, ostensibly, are our allies – particularly in the Middle East, as a primarysource of funds for charities and foundations that are under investigation or have fallen undersuspicion for terrorist financing.
The Senate Finance Committee retains exclusive jurisdiction over tax matters in the Senate.We have a responsibility to carry out oversight to ensure charities, foundations and other groups areabiding by the laws and regulations, to examine their source of funds, and to ensure governmentagencies, including the IRS, are policing them and enforcing the law efficiently and effectively.
We ask that you provide copies of all IRS materials -including information protected bySection 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code -for the attached list of charities, foundations, other taxexempt organizations, and other groups. The material should include Form 990s and Form 990 PFs,including the donors list for both types; Form 1023s, the charities’ applications for tax exempt status,and any and all materials from examinations, audits and other investigations, including criminalinvestigations. Pursuant to Internal Revenue Code section 6103(f)(4), Chairman Grassley herebyauthorizes the following Finance Committee staff – Dean Zerbe, John Drake, Pat Heck and MattStokes – to review this information.
We would appreciate receiving this material no later than Friday, February 20,2004. Pleasehave IRS officials contact our staff to arrange the details of delivery. We thank you in advance foryour cooperation.
Charles E. Grassley
Charities, Foundations, Other Tax-Exempt Organizations, and Other Groups All charities, foundations and tax-exempt organizations, groups or entities who have beendesignated or listed by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)from September 11, 2001 to today.
The SAAR Foundation and all members and related entities
Global Relief Foundation (GRF)
Benevolence International Foundation (BIF)
Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA)
Muslim Student Association
Islamic Association for Palestine
Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF)
Muslim World League
International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) or Internal Relief Organization (IRO)
Al Haramain Foundation
Institute of Islamic and Arabic Science in America (IIASA)
Islamic Assembly of North American
Help the Needy
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
Islamic Foundation of America
United Association for Studies and Research (USAR)
Solidarity International and/or Solidarity USA
Islamic American Relief Agency and/or Islamic African Relief Agency
Islamic Society of North America
International Islamic Relief Organization
World Assembly of Muslim Youth
Human Appeal International
Some of the charities, foundations, other tax-exempt organizations or groups listed above may beincluded in the first category of entities listed or designated by OFAC. You do not need to provideduplicate records for these entities.
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