The IRS’s Exempt Organizations unit’s plan for fiscal year 2009 intends to focus on charitable spending, governance, gifts-in-kind, mutual organizations and student loan organizations. The EO work plan includes a long-range study on the sources and uses of funds in the charitable sector and their effect on the accomplishment of charitable purposes. The plan also will consider initiatives on the valuation of noncash gifts which are donated to other charities. In stage one of the charitable spending project, the focus will be on organizations with unusual fundraising levels and organizations that report unrelated trades or business activity and low levels of program service expenditures. The project will consider public contributions, grants, revenues from related or unrelated trades or businesses, types and amounts of direct and indirect unrelated business income expenses, officer compensation, fundraising expenses, program service activities and the effect each has on funds available for charitable spending. According to EO Director, Lois Lerner, although this may sound like the commensurate test, the objective of the project is to determine what organizations are doing with the money coming in. The EO’s 2009 work plan also will focus on items given to charities that in turn are given to other domestic or international charities, where the organizations often are taking a higher deduction than the gifts are worth.
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