The Zionist Organization of America’s tax-exempt status has been revoked after the group missed three consecutive years of filings to the Internal Revenue Service, the Forward has learned.
The 115-year-old Zionist group has not been allowed to accept tax-deductible donations since February.
ZOA spokesman David Drimer, the group’s executive director, said that the sanction was the result of a ‘technical misunderstanding,’ and that since it happened, the ZOA has ‘never intentionally’ misrepresented itself. He said that the group is nearly ready to apply for a retroactive reinstatement of its tax exemption.
In an email provided to the Forward, ZOA tax attorney Tyler Korn wrote that ‘serious failures by the ZOA’s accountants, management and Board’ led to the loss of the group’s exemption.
Drimer, who previously was associate publisher of the Forward, said that the lost exemption is no secret and that he talked ‘with numerous individuals about it every day.’ But Drimer cited a memorandum prepared by Korn saying that the group has no obligation to broadly publicize the sanction.
That opposition to publicizing the lost exemption has been a cause of dissent on the group’s national board. Steven Goldberg, a vice chairman of the national board and the chair the ZOA’s Los Angeles chapter, has argued for broader public disclosure.
‘I believe we have a fiduciary responsibility to disclose,’ Goldberg told the Forward. ‘I don’t understand not telling people.’
I must say this was breathtakingly stupid. How many officers do they have making 6-figure salaries? I have my own 501(c)(3) and I have automatic reminders to update every year with the IRS. And I don’t pay myself any salary, much less 6 figures.