Using hardball to stop the mosque

Writing at Pajamas Media on May 28, Allyssa Lappen offers an interesting suggestion on how to stop the Ground Zero mosque: by investigating the tax code violations of the organization, American Society for Muslim Advancement, that is planning to build it:

The best route to stopping construction may be through the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service. According to a Certified Public Accountant and Act for America member, available American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) tax filings raise several red flags.

Very little ASMA information is available on the non-profit organization from Guidestar, a commercial service that provides 990 filings from thousands of tax-exempt charitable organizations, many much smaller than ASMA. However, the CPA reports that many documents required for public examination are missing from Guidestar’s ASMA files. Federal law requires ASMA to provide tax returns for public inspection, but evidently it has not done so, the CPA says.

Director since 2005, Daisy Kahn—Rauf’s interior designing, Kashmir-born wife—apparently never filed a required informational return or regular annual reports: “shocking for a charity with over $1 million in grants just last year.”

Several other issues indicate ASMA’s financial statements are not “in accordance with accounting standards for nonprofit organizations.” An organization established in 1998 should have two-year comparisons, not the one-year comparison provided in the fiscal 2009 statement. Failing that, ASMA must provide comparative statements in its notes or a letter to stakeholders—which it also does not do.

Likewise, ASMA claims to be a 501(c)3 organization. They do present a letter of determination (albeit, misstated as being granted in “1988”). But ASMA financial statements do not specify under which code ASMA’s tax-exempt status falls.

ASMA also fails to list required future lease payments, although its auditor reportedly specializes in non-profit groups and purports to follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). “I’m shocked by all these” oversights, said the CPA, who has merely begun to list GAAP requirements on which ASMA flunks.

Maybe there’s just too much information Rauf and ASMA don’t want the public to know. Perhaps the IRS should institute a new taqiyya-busters division. Meanwhile, the public can shower the IRS with complaints on these evidently numerous tax-code violations.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 02, 2010 08:26 PM | Send

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