In New Brunswick, New Jersey, the Internal Revenue Service has suspended New Jersey’s animal law enforcement agency, the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, of its nonprofit status for failing to pay taxes for the last three years. According to the organization’s Facebook page, Deputy Chief of Law Enforcement and President of the NJSPCA, Steve Shatkin stated extenuating circumstances led to the unfortunate situation:
“This is a temporary situation and once resolved, our 501C-3 status will be reinstated retroactively, meaning any donations that you make will be tax deductible as they have always been. Our accountant suffered a stroke two years ago, prior to him filing our 2013 tax return. New accountants were brought in who failed to file our returns and failed to notify us. That led to the IRS suspending our 501C-3 status until the returns are filed.”
For nonprofits, organizations file Form 990 which lists information about spending. Organized in 1868, the New Jersey SPCA has protected the welfare of animals and is a private corporation depending entirely on donations. Since 2012, the detailed list of how the money is spent has not been filed nor made transparent – thus creating doubt and statewide criticism.
According to News12, the NJSPCA has failed to comply with a state law requiring it to prepare an annual financial audit, required to be submitted to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and made available to the public. Government correspondence shows people were never able to obtain copies of the annual financial audit from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, dating back as far as 2009.
The IRS suspension will be in effect until the returns are filed, Shatkin said, which he anticipated would be in early December. Any donations made to the NJSPCA would retroactively be deductible after the suspension, Shatkin said.
(Photo of New Jersey SPCA via website)
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