Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hey, Maybe Osama even got a Refund!

The IRS has no idea what it's looking for when it looks for terrorist funding.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration audited the IRS's anti-terrorism efforts. Since 9/11, the IRS has shut down only a half dozen or so suspect charities believed to be funneling money to terrorists. There are more than 200,000 on the IRS's watch list. But the audit shows the tax agency isn't looking too closely at them.

"The IRS provides only minimal assurance that tax-exempt organizations potentially involved in terrorist activities are being identified." -- Treasury IG Audit, quoted in USA Today
Part of the problem is technology. When the crackdown started after 9/11, the IRS was buried under a flood of paperwork from 300,000 domestic charities. Practically none of it was digital -- just old, fashioned paper that required people to review each page by hand.

The audit warns, the system could let terrorists slip through the cracks. (USA Today)

No comments: