Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark Everson called for more frequent review of the tax-exempt status of individual charities, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he would attempt to enact legislation tightening federal oversight of not-for-profits as soon as possible.
The Finance Committee met Monday as part of a continuing appraisal of regulations governing charities, and reforms suggested at the meeting included mandatory electronic filing for charitable organizations, five-year reviews of individual charities' tax exemptions and public disclosure of charities' tax forms. Some senators expressed concern that such rules could hinder charities' ability to carry out their missions.
Diana Aviv, executive director of the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, convened by the committee last fall to recommend reforms, said regulators and the public should have access to accurate, adequate, clear and timely information about charities' activities and finances. Aviv said penalties should be strict for managers and directors of charitable organizations who receive improper or excessive financial benefits.