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    IRS Stops Charity From Giving Firefighters' Families More Than $1 Million in Donations

    Friday , December 08, 2006




    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — More than $1 million donated after an arson blaze killed five firefighters can't be distributed to their families because the charity didn't follow IRS rules.

    Riverside County asked the Central County United Way in Hemet to handle the donations when offers started pouring in after the U.S. Forest Service firefighters died in October.

    However, tax-exempt charitable organizations cannot raise money for a group as small and specific as the families of five firefighters. Under federal law, such groups can give money to individuals only if those individuals or families are part of a wider class and if giving the money ultimately benefits the community.

    "This was a spontaneous effort — there wasn't time to go to a bunch of tax attorneys and CPAs," said Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley. "We feel like the IRS is the Grinch that stole Christmas."

    Bob Duistermars, the local United Way's chairman, said the problem stemmed from ignorance about the process and confusion because of special exemptions made for the families of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    "We were all moved by the fact that we had lost friends and family," he said. "Now we just need to catch up with the law."

    An IRS spokesman wouldn't discuss the firefighters' case specifically but said the agency has clear restrictions on how tax-exempt organizations can provide financial aid.

    Duistermars said expanding the fund's reach would be a last resort, but his organization intends to follow the law. He said if the fund is expanded, donors could ask for their money back.

    The five firefighters were overrun by flames while protecting a home in Twin Pines, about 90 miles east of Los Angeles. The blaze destroyed 34 homes before it was contained, and an auto mechanic later was arrested. He has pleaded not guilty to arson and murder in the case.

    Last edited by RoughRider; 12-08-2006, 11:27 AM.
    Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.

    The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter!! Either side of the hill.


    IACOJ PROUD

  • #2
    What can ya say, eh? Just sucks!
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    • #3
      And the Infernal, I Gotcha, Infidel, Idiot, Ignorant Revenue Service strikes once more.

      Comment


      • #4
        Going to play devils advocate on this one (yes I hope they get the money) Don't you think an organization as large as the United Waywould know the laws considering they do this all the time ? IMO they screwed up and are pushing the blame off on someone else. The laws were there way before this incident took place. Lets just hope Uncle Sam makes good on the United Ways screw up.
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        ------GOD BLESS AMERICA ! ------

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't see how gifts fall under the nose of the government, anyway.

          It's none of their damned business.
          Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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          • #6
            I've thought that the folks could always demand their money back from the United Way and just hand the money directly to the victims' families.
            I've got two relatives that don't like hearing this as they for them but"F888 the IRS."If they don't want it to be legal to donate money when public service loses people,there are ways around them.

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            • #7
              A happy ending to this story. Congress rushed through a bill to help out.

              Congress passes bill to aid fallen firefighters
              They told me if I voted for Hillary Clinton the president would be emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable. They were right. I voted for Hillary Clinton and got a president that is emotional, impulsive, and unpredictable.

              I'm not saying you're stupid. I'm saying you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by scfire86
                A happy ending to this story. Congress rushed through a bill to help out.

                Congress passes bill to aid fallen firefighters
                Great news !
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                ------GOD BLESS AMERICA ! ------

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                • #9
                  I don't see how gifts fall under the nose of the government, anyway.
                  Hell, they have to be hard-nose...too many scammers out there.
                  Member IACOJ

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