Politically active ‘social welfare’ nonprofits get IRS approval with cash, connections

The Sunlight Foundation reports that in the wake of Citizens United, tax-exempt social welfare groups, 501(c)4 organizations, have becoming increasingly popular as conduits for big, anonymous campaign donations. A survey by the Sunlight Foundation found dozens of groups in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia that appear to benefit Republican and Democratic politicians, despite being set…

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America’s worst charities collect $1 billion for corporate fundraisers

Hundreds of charities now operate, not to help the needy, but to turn donations made to paralyzed veterans, dying children and cancer victims into profit for private fundraising companies. An investigation by The Center for Investigative Reporting, CNN and the Tampa Bay Times revales that the top 50 worst charities collected more than $1 billion…

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Millions of leaked documents reveal impact of offshore secrecy

Dozens of journalists working for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism sorted through millions of leaked records that “lay bare the names behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands and other offshore hideaways.”  International Consortium of Investigative Journalism reports that key findings include:  Government officials and their families and…

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Extra Extra Roundup: Tax delinquency, wrongful foreclosure, false confessions and school abuse

Center for Investigative ReportingVA’s ability to quickly provide benefits plummets under Obama“Internal VA documents, obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting and authenticated by the agency, reveal that delays newly returning veterans face before receiving disability compensation and other benefits are far longer than the agency has publicly acknowledged. The documents also offer insight into…

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Yahoo, Dell arrangements reveal role of Netherlands as tax haven

Yahoo! Inc. has taken advantage of Dutch laws to quietly funnel millions of dollars to island subsidiaries, Bloomberg News reports, which has cut its worldwide tax bill. The computer maker Dell has used the law to avoid roughly $4 billion in income taxes since 2004. Bloomberg reports that the arrangements demonstrate how the Netherlands have…

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Extra Extra Monday: Student debt, river debates, lead contamination and opiate addictions

Milwaukee Journal SentinelThe Wrong-Way River“Biologists predict the number of unwanted organisms moving on the Chicago canal will only grow until the waterway is somehow plugged. And it is much more than a Great Lakes problem because biological pollution travels both directions on this invasive species superhighway.” The Morning CallAmazon warehouse workers fight for unemployment benefits“Its…

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Amazon creates billion-dollar tax shield

An examination of accounts filed by 25 Amazon units in six countries show how the company has avoided paying more tax in the United States, where it’s based, according to a report from Reuters. Reuters writes that Amazon, in effect, used inter-company payments to form a tax shield behind which it has accumulated $2 billion. Last…

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Washington Post exposes secretive deals, billions in unexplained property tax reductions

In an ongoing series, The Washington Post’s Debbie Cenziper and Nikita Stewart identified $2.6 billion in unexplained property tax reductions, made through secretive, back-room deals, for hundreds of influential developers in Washington, D.C. The third installment today found that the District’s new chief appraiser had been dogged by similar allegations at his last job in…

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Crooks using SSA’s Death Master File to claim recently deceased children

“The Internal Revenue Service — citing data it is making public for the first time at the request of Scripps Howard News Service — estimates that tax filers improperly submitted 350,000 returns on dead Americans this tax season, improperly seeking $1.25 billion in refunds. Parents who recently lost a child are increasingly targeted by these…

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