Congress committees look to crack down on nonprofits

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Congress's tax-writing committees are attempting to crack down on nonprofits' fraudulent activities and tighten laws governing tax exemptions for those groups in the wake of abuses, according to the Washington Post.

The Senate Finance Committee may look to increase the disclosure requirements, implement more outside audits, create tighter rules around credit counseling groups, and require nonprofits file with the Internal Revenue Service every five years.

Under current law, most of the restrictions apply only to private foundations and other private charities. Many of the proposals would extend to public charities.

"It's obvious from the abuses we see that there's been no check on charities. Big money, tax-free, and no oversight have created a cesspool in too many cases," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) said late last week. "It's time for Congress to send a message."

The Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee are conducting hearings on the subject today.