Religion Ted Haggard: Tax Cheat?
posted by August 24 at 12:15 PMon
Slog readers noticed something odd in Haggard’s letter to his supporters—besides, of course, Ted’s assumption that he still has supporters. Ted is too fucking lazy to get a real job and wants the same of idiots that bankrolled his church to bankroll his education. Because Ted’s going to be a counselor when he grows up. Anyway, check this out…
If any supporters need a tax deduction for their gift, they can mail it to Families With a Mission at P.O. Box 63125, Colorado Springs, CO 80962. The supporters would need to write their check to “Families With A Mission” and put a separate note on it that it is for the Haggard family, then Families With a Mission will mail us 90% of the funds for support and use 10% for administrative costs.
Says Julie in the comments thread…
This strikes me as borderline illegal from a tax perspective. Can you really make a tax-deductible donation to a nonprofit organization, only to have 90% of it be given directly to a specified individual? If the mission of “Families with a Mission” is to provide monetary assistance to Christians in need, maybe. Otherwise, it seems pretty fishy since directly giving money to Ted Haggard would not be tax deductible.
Slog regular Dave C., a lawyer, is now looking into it. Dave says that the rules at irs.gov states forbid 501-C(3)s from handing money over to disgraced former pastors: “…none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual.”
Dave is also looking into the specific organization that Haggard is using to launder contributions. Dave says that so far the only “Families with a Mission” group registered with the Colorado Secretary of State was dissolved in Feb of 2007. Here’s the relevant screen-grab. “It has the same address for mailing purposes that Haggard lists on his letter,” writes Dave.
Dave is still digging—and here’s hoping Ted’s gotten himself into a little more hot water.