In August, we published this post that showed the folks who run CATER (the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility) hadn’t filed their Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service. It’s been about five full months since this story and we checked in with the IRS today only to discover that’s still no Form 990 on file with the IRS.
A Form 990 is basically a postcard with essential information about the people and purpose of the organization and might require a list of those who contribute to the organization; no Form 990 filed as of August 2015 so it was time for a checkup. Nothing popped up about CATER on the search function, so I got some help from the IRS media relations team that led me to a spreadsheet of nearly 17,000 organizations from all over the state with a Form 990 on file. Guess what? No CATER. No Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility. No Cynthia Ward. The spreadsheet was updated on January 12, 2016.
From our August post:
Most tax-exempt organizations that have gross receipts of at least $200,000 or assets worth at least $500,000 must file Form 990 on an annual basis. Some organizations, such as political organizations, churches and other religious organizations, are exempt from filing an annual Form 990.
Form 990 initially requires the organization to describe its mission or other significant activities. The organization must then disclose financial details on its revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities.
The IRS also wants to ensure that the organization is worthy of maintaining its tax-exempt status and requires more details on the types of activities it engages in during the year. A significant portion of the form requires information on how the organization is governed, and specifically requests the names of its officers, directors, highly compensated employees and other employees who are involved with managing the organization. An organization that over-compensates its management may jeopardize its tax-exempt status with the IRS.
In fairness to the CATER crowd, who promised to jump right on it, the IRS says it takes at least two months once a form is filed to be posted. Or it could take longer. So it’s possible the Form has been filed but is still not posted — nearly five months after the CATER crowd was alerted and promised to “jump right on it.” But from publicly available resources, there’s no proof that Form 990 has been completed.
Today, CATER continues to file legal motions against the city of Anaheim demanding transparency, threatening lawsuits, and suggesting the city pay it’s legal fees. CATER has cost Anaheim taxpayer’s in excess of $200K.
We continue to remain amused that an organization demanding transparency and economic responsibility seems unable to adhere to the filing responsibilities with appropriate government agencies for its 501c4 status. CATER changed their website copy after our post to say this status was still pending. It apparently still is.