Report: Clinton Foundation failed to inform IRS as it morphed from presidential library to global enterprise

by WorldTribune Staff, September 8, 2016

Did the IRS, the same federal agency that five years ago targeted conservative groups, allow the Clinton Foundation a pass on compliance requirements?

Clinton Foundation officials “skirted or ignored federal laws and regulations” while converting the non-profit from its tax-exempt purpose of building a presidential library in Little Rock, according to documents reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Clinton Foundation
The Clinton Foundation “has never been validly authorized to pursue tax-exempt purposes other than as a presidential archive,” an analyst said.

In its 1997 determination letter granting tax-exempt status to the Clinton Foundation, the IRS informed foundation officials that to retain the tax-exempt status they must inform the government if you “change your sources of support, your purposes, character or method of operation … so we can consider the effect of the change on your exempt status and foundation status.”

The Clinton Foundation did not comply.

Related: Smoking gun documents show IRS knew about targeting of conservatives 2 years before 2012 election, July 29, 2016

The Clinton Presidential Library and Museum was dedicated in Little Rock on Nov. 18, 2004. The Clinton Foundation has raised an estimated $1.5 billion since 2004.

Meanwhile, IRS officials knew the agency was targeting conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status based on their ideology and political affiliation two years before disclosing it to Congress and the public, according to documents released in July of this year.

Non-profit foundations are required by the IRS to conduct activities that support the officially approved tax-exempt purpose for which the federal agency allows them to offer donors the ability to deduct contributions. Officials must report annually via the IRS Tax Form 990 to show their non-profit’s compliance with its exempt purpose.

According to the Daily Caller’s report, on its first annual Form 990, filed in 1998, Clinton Foundation officials described the non-profit’s exempt purpose as “to design, construct and initially endow a presidential archival deposit.”

In the foundation’s 1999 tax return, the description of its exempt purpose was unchanged except to add this, also from the tax-exemption application: “… to house and preserve the books, correspondence, documents, papers, pictures, photographs and other memorabilia of President Clinton.”

The exempt purpose description remained unchanged until 2002, when the description added one sentence which essentially restated statements from the tax-exempt application: “The foundation will also undertake and support research and educational activities on policy and historical issues related to the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton.”

According to a statement presently on its web site, the foundation created the Clinton Health Access Initiative: “From 2002 to 2010, as an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, 4 million patients were able to access CHAI-negotiated ARV drugs …”

The Daily Caller noted that “these two events mark the beginning of the Clinton Foundation’s departure from its tax-exempt purpose because there is no reference in the 2002 tax return telling the IRS about formation of the CHAI and the foundation answered ‘no’ to question 76 on the return, which asked if the foundation ‘engaged in any activity not previously reported to the IRS.’ ”

Charles Ortel, an analyst in non-profit governance and critic of the Clinton Foundation, said that “to informed analysts, the Clinton Foundation appears to be a rogue charity that has neither been organized nor operated lawfully from inception in October 1997 to date.”

Ortel claims the foundation “has never been validly authorized to pursue tax-exempt purposes other than as a presidential archive and research facility based in Little Rock, Arkansas.”