IRS Joins Forces to Combat Fraud Against Charitable Organizations

During the week of October 18-22, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) joined many organizations, domestic and international, to raise awareness on fraud schemes conducted against charities.

The IRS advised taxpayers that in addition to the rising amount of cyber crime against charities, criminals are creating fake charities, a fraud scheme which is once again part of the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for 2021. The IRS reminds everyone to use the Tax Exempt Organization Search tool on IRS.gov to ensure that organizations are legitimate and qualified charities prior to making charitable contributions. Taxpayers should always verify the tax-exemption status of a charity before they donate and should not feel pressured to give immediately. 

The charity fraud awareness week had live webinars, free resources and a social media campaign to combat fraud. IRS Director of Exempt Organizations and Government Entities, Rob Malone, stated, “We especially advise taxpayers to be on the lookout for scammers who set up fake organizations to take advantage of the public’s generosity.  They take advantage of tragedies and disasters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Campaigns like Charity Fraud Awareness Week can help remind everyone to remain vigilant.” 

The Preventing Charity Fraud website has provided the public “Useful Links” to combat fraud. In addition, Charity Navigator, is a well-known organization that rates charities and is a useful source in determining an organization’s legitimacy. 

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