Once More Into the Breach

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I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles



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Friday, December 08, 2006

IRS Says Donations Can't Go to Dead Firefighter's Families


I have seen and heard of many different individuals receiving financial aid from various sources. Churches often give to individuals in their community who need help. Trusts are set up to aid children who need expensive medical procedures. After a year and a half people who suffered from Katrina are still having their rent paid. Yet the IRS has ruled that the Central County United Way in Riverside, CA cannot give out any of the $1 million designated for the families of the U.S. Forest Service firefighters who died while protecting a home in Twin Pines.

... 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...

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.


Bob Duistermars, the local United Way's chairman should have known of this law and informed those who chose to direct donations to the organization that there would be a problem. If he did not know of the rule one needs to ask whether he is doing his job or if the IRS is making it up as they go along. Either way the desire to give is great in this nation but having confidence in who handles the money is difficult enough without the government making it impossible to do so in some cases.




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