WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday that 275,000
organizations have lost their tax-exempt status because they failed to file
required annual reports for three straight years.
The tax agency
said it believed that the vast majority of those groups are no longer in
existence, but it said it was setting up procedures to help those companies
that sought reinstatement.
It said the
names of the organizations would be made public soon.
IRS data shows
that there were more than 1.8 million tax-exempt organizations in 2010.
About two-thirds of those are religious and charitable organizations, but
also included are labor and agriculture organizations, business leagues,
social and recreation clubs, war veterans’ groups and others.
The agency said
that last year it published a list of at-risk groups and gave smaller
organizations an additional five months to file required reports. It said
about 50,000 organizations filed during this period.
“During the past
several years, the IRS has gone the extra mile to help make tax-exempt
groups aware of their legal filing requirement and allow them additional
time to file,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a statement.
The agency said
that the status revocation will not affect people who previously donated to
organizations on the list but that those organizations will no longer be
eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions and any income they receive
may be taxable.
A 2006 law
requires most tax-exempt organizations to file an annual information return
with the IRS. It automatically revokes the status for organizations that
fail to file the required papers for three consecutive years. The list
pertains to organizations that did not file reports for 2007, 2008 and 2009.