Charities Rise, Costing U.S. Billions in Tax Breaks
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December 7, 2009, The New York Times - The number of organizations that can offer their donors a tax break in the name of charity has grown more than 60 percent in the United States, to 1.1 million, in just a decade.
Experts say nonprofits are skillfully exploiting the tax code’s broad and elastic definition of what constitutes such a charity, making it difficult for the Internal Revenue Service, which must bless them, to say no. The agency approved 99 percent of the applications for public charity status last year, according to a new study by students at Stanford University — or more than one every 10 to 15 minutes.