Financial abuses by charities and nonprofit foundations are being discussed in a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing this morning. The panel’s chairman, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, says the hearing will set the stage for legislative action later this spring to reform the way nonprofit groups operate. Grassley says “Congress needs to revise the laws in this area to make sure that it’s charity that benefits rather than the private interests that sometimes surface more often. Above all, the money donated to charities should go to those that have the need.” He says Congress has made no “serious” review of nonprofit groups since the late 1960s. Grassley has reviewed abuses in this arena for years and held a hearing last summer where he circulated proposed reforms. Grassley says “My reform effort is targeted at a wide range of abuses from nonprofit board members using nonprofit dollars to finance personal trips and even their daughters’ weddings to individuals taking big tax deductions for charitable donations with only pennies going to those who really have the need.” By targeting abuses, Grassley hopes to help restore accountability from nonprofit to potential donors and the taxpayers and help make sure the money donated to charity helps those in need. He says these reforms are especially important as Congress considers new tax incentives for charitable giving.
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