Friday, December 28, 2012

Better living from the IRS

The Ukraine has a long history of getting stomped on, abused, and put through unspeakable suffering. How are they doing these days?

Those spice blue eyes of the original human Barbie - now on her way to a mall opening near you (or not )-  hold more misery than the director's cut of Dune.

Which reminds me of a song - a song that poses the eternal question : Whiny or pretentious?

Sorry for the Polish subtitles - I couldn't find a Ukrainian, or even a Hungarian Horntail. But the Ukraine is hardly the only part of the world with suffering. The real question today is : How do we deal with the suffering of others?

There are a lot of approaches. Think kindly thoughts, but only act when it's in your face is a common one, usually effective as far as it goes, which is about the end of your nose. Another is political action. You know how to do that, & it's not really so difficult, although it certainly has risks. Another is to decide what's important to you, and join in the effort.

Here, for once, there's an  answer.  The IRS will help you find people of like mind, in your area, who are doing something. There are over a million active organizations - and half a million whose exemption has been revoked for nonfiling, so you can probably find a ton within an easy walk. Or,you can go the other way. Hear about a likely organization - say Ducks Unlimited - well, the IRS will tell you where they're headquartered whether they have a valid exemption, and if it has been revoked. (If you're just looking to give to a charity, something like Charity Navigator is useful too, but not as good if you're looking to find the nearest monastic historical society where you can go to weekly meetings and wear hairshirts in public)

The IRS does not post the annual filings on its website, although they are public information. Still, not a problem. There are various databases that collect this stuff. One easy way is to go to the home state AG. In Massachusetts, for example, it would be easier if you have a TIFF viewer, since the AGs office has switched to that annoying file type. Ducks Unlimited raises money in the Commonwealth, so there are hundreds of pages of documents and audited financials that tell you how they take in $150,000,000 per year, and how they spend it.

Looking for something cosier? How about the Boylston Chess Club? Alas, they had their 501(c)(7) exemption revoked. The name search at the IRS looks for an any word match, so otter gives 406 results. Fortunately, the Sea Otter Foundation of Yarmouth, Maine is near the top, so we can close with a bit of squee -


Anonymous said...

Point the First: Ducks Unlimited cannot possibly take in $150,000,000 in one year. Point the Second: A chess club gets it's ass revoked? For turning a profit? Unpossible. Point the Last: The Charity Navigator is very helpful, but do I trust clinking into and searching the IRS? Hmmm…..

mittromneyswag said...


Downpuppy said...

The 2012 report says Ducks took in $183,000,000. Boylston got revoked because they fell apart after leaving the Y & quit filing.

I don't do memes, Maam.