Tax Notes Today did not publish a letter ruling revoking exempt status before 2004, when two were published: one was a home owner’s association and one was a charity with unspecified purposes. In 2005 the number jumped to 41; these included insurance companies, recreational clubs, and charities. The number was the same in 2006 and the categories expanded to debt management charities and a public housing charity. In 2007 the number jumped to 83, with at least one revocation due to political activities.
The number of revocations was 221 in 2008. Many were due to reporting failures. Also veteran’s and social organizations received excessive income from nonmembers, and credit counseling charities lost their exemptions. In 2009 revocations dropped to 70, but for 2010 to the present the number is 223. The reasons included reporting failures, operational failures, and failure to provide records to the IRS.
Formal revocation occurs only after a fairly lengthy process of review. 223 revocations likely mean there are substantially more audits that resulted in penalties or required corrective action by the organization.