IRS Says Friends of Lulu in Danger of Losing Tax-Exempt Status

As I feared, Friends of Lulu is in danger of losing its tax-exempt status as a charitable organization. At the end of June, the IRS released a “List of Organizations at Risk of Automatic Revocation of Tax-Exempt Status”, and as shown here, Friends of Lulu is on it. (Click for bigger version. Link no longer available.)

Revocation list excerpt

That’s an excerpt from the NY list posted by the IRS. As described, “the list includes organizations for which the IRS does not have a record of a required annual filing for 2007 and 2008, and whose 2009 return, due on or after May 17 and before October 15, 2010, has not yet been received.”

If you gave money to Friends of Lulu since 2007 and you took a tax exemption, don’t fear. “Donors to section 501(c)(3) organizations may rely on the organization’s determination letter or listing in Publication 78 to deduct contributions until the IRS publishes notice on IRS.gov that the organization’s 501(c)(3) exempt status has been automatically revoked.” So we’ll have to check back with the IRS in late October to see what happens.

The helpful anonymous reader who tipped me to this IRS news also pointed out that the list includes the “Professional Association of Comics Entertainment Retailers”, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. That’s PACER, a comic retailer trade organization that disappeared a while back. (I only remember them because reviewer, now retailer, Randy Lander was once representing them. The last online reference I could find was a note about their meeting in San Diego in 2001.) Its role has since been taken over by ComicsPRO.


15 Responses to “IRS Says Friends of Lulu in Danger of Losing Tax-Exempt Status”

  1. Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment Says:

    [...] Organizations | Friends of Lulu, the comics advocacy group whose struggles have come to light in recent months, is in danger of losing its tax-exempt status as a charitable organization. Johanna Draper Carlson reports the 16-year-old group appears on the Internal Revenue Service’s “List of Organizations at Risk of Automatic Revocation of Tax-Exempt Status,” which includes organizations “for which the IRS does not have a record of a required annual filing for 2007 and 2008, and whose 2009 return, due on or after May 17 and before October 15, 2010, has not yet been received.” [Comics Worth Reading] [...]

  2. William George Says:

    And yet they won’t tax churches…

  3. Ed Sizemore Says:

    William,

    And churches aren’t allowed any political voice. If a pastor endorses a candidate from the pulpit, the church loses its tax exempt status. If a denomination endorses a candidate, it loses its tax exempt status. So it’s quid pro quo. If you think there is too much religion in politics now, then end the tax exempt status for churches and see what happens.

  4. William George Says:

    Anything that makes those charlatans pay their fair share is okay with me.

  5. Johanna Says:

    That’s the way it’s supposed to work, Ed, but I’ve heard tell that it rarely happens, even for the most egregious violations. How did we get on this topic anyway? Does someone think it’s a bad idea for the IRS to crack down on organizations that don’t follow the rules or may be defunct?

  6. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Willam, To say you and I disagree about religion is an understatement. I find no more charlatans in the faith than I do in atheism. The ability to misuse people’s trust isn’t limited to religion.

    Johanna, I don’t mind the IRS enforcing the rules. Just want to point out the churches aren’t given a tax exempt status without resistrictions being placed on them.

    I agree this is off topic, so I’ll say no more.

  7. Johanna Says:

    Fair point, Ed. And no need to feel shushed — if that’s what Friends of Lulu brings to mind … :)

  8. James Schee Says:

    I think its interesting to see the IRS in action, having become a tax advisor/preparer recently. With the poor economy the IRS has been given the push to go after the unclaimed tax dollars that one total I saw could be as much as 100 Billion dollars. Not only for this year, but prior years as well. (one interesting note, if the IRS owes you money you have 3 years to claim it. If you owe them money they can go as far back as they need to)

    On the churches thing. While the church itself may be tax exempt, the clergy members themselves are not. They do get some breaks and allowances, though they have to jump through some impressive hoops to get them.

  9. David Bird Says:

    Any reason to slam churches! Sheesh.

    All Lulu has to do is file their paperwork, the paperwork they should be filing every year, and all will be well. Just like everyone else.

    Why they haven’t been is the question. Does it reflect some disorder within the organization?

  10. William George Says:

    Yes, I’d say we are in strong disagreement over which side of the argument can lay claim to the largest amount of charlatanism.

    *AHEMreligionHEM*

    As for the topic: I think David Bird clarified things quite well. Between this and D’Orazio’s recent confessions about the organization suggests things are spinning around the bowl.

  11. [LinksRoundup]‘Nation’s Only Black Staff Editorial Cartoonist Laid Off’ : Black Comix Says:

    [...] Draper Carlson reports that Friends of Lulu may lose its status as a tax exempt [...]

  12. Gail Simone Says:

    I am sad to hear of Lulu’s troubles. No matter where things went wrong, a lot of people worked terribly hard on it.

    I think it could probably still be saved. I have tried to contact the management but have not heard back.

  13. Johanna Says:

    I hope it is saved. Certainly, they’re not the only charitable organization caught by the changed IRS laws. I’m wishing the best for them, although I obviously can’t volunteer to help at this point.

  14. Friends of Lulu Future Uncertain as President Resigns Publicly » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] taking over as President, whether they’ll be holding elections, how they plan to address the loss of their tax-exempt status, and the group’s goals for the future. I will report back if/when I receive a [...]

  15. It’s Official — Friends of Lulu No Longer a Non-Profit Organization » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] became known as a likely possibility last August, when I found the group on the IRS risk list. At that time, a group of volunteers stepped forward to try and get the group back on its feet [...]




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