Thursday, August 10, 2006

RSTDT More schadenfreude

(image from here)
The WaPo reports this AP story:

IRS May Audit Recycled Leavitt Family Donations

Associated Press
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A05

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Internal Revenue Service plans to audit a foundation that channeled tax-deductible donations from the Leavitt family through Southern Utah University back to the Leavitts in the form of student rent for family-owned student housing, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday.

Southern Utah Foundation President Scott Truman said the organization's board, which met Monday, asked him not to comment on the audit, but that "they feel that we should be okay." An IRS spokesman said he could not comment.

Mark Barton, a Southern Utah University vice president, said the school does not plan to change how it administers the foundation's donations or its housing scholarship program.

"Everything has been checked out [by attorneys] and it's legal," Barton said. He said the school has not been notified of an IRS inquiry.

Nearly $500,000 in charitable contributions from the Leavitt family, which includes U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary and former Utah governor Mike Leavitt, to the Southern Utah Foundation went to the university and eventually were recycled to the Leavitts through an agreement that student housing scholarships be used only for apartments the Leavitts own.

Leavitt family spokesman Dane Leavitt said the family's foundation is reviewing its arrangement to ensure it complies with tax law.

The Washington Post reported two weeks ago that the Leavitt foundation had failed until recently to meet a requirement that it donate 5 percent of assets to charity. The foundation gave $209,000 to charity from 2001 to 2004 but boosted its donations in 2005 and 2006, donating a total of $1.2 million in that time.

Previous story in our Series, Republicans Say The Darndest Things:
Leavitt's Charity Gives Crumbs

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