ADC Commends IRS Decision to Investigate Settlement Funding

Washington, D.C. | January 19, 2010 | |The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) commends the decision by Commissioner Douglas Shulman to publicly commit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in tackling the issue of US charities that launder tax exempt US donations into illegal Israeli West Bank settlement activities. The construction of settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) is illegal under international humanitarian law. The use of tax-exempt status to raise funds for these types of activities is against American public policy.

Commissioner Shulman”s statements came during a live on-air interview over National Public Radio (NPR), which can be heard by clicking here. According to the US Newswire, Commissioner Shulman stated “…if a charity is breaking the tax law, is engaged in activities that they are not supposed to be engaged in, we certainly will go after them.” The answer was in response to a question of whether the IRS would go after charities that are helping fund settlement development in the West Bank.

In 2009, ADC filed multiple administrative complaints (click here to read copy of ADC complaint) with the US Department of the Treasury, including the IRS, requesting investigations into the activities of organizations claiming tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the US Tax Code and using funds for the development of illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Click here to read ADC press release pertaining to original filing of complaints. You may also read more about ADC’s work on this matter by clicking here.

ADC Legal Advisor Abed Ayoub, said, “ADC commends Commissioner Shulman and the IRS for their commitment to ending the funding of illegal Israeli settlements with tax payer dollars. ADC has been at the forefront of addressing this crucial issue and will continue advocating for the cessation and dismantlement of illegal Israeli settlements.”

By investigating organizations that use tax exempt contributions to fund the construction of illegal settlements, the IRS could revoke these organizations tax exempt status. Each year billions of dollars are donated to non-profit organizations, and some of these funds ultimately end up being used for settlement development. ADC has identified hundreds of these organizations and continues to investigate and file complaints against such organizations.

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