The Clinton Foundation will “amend” its tax returns for the last four years, to correct “errors in the report of donations from foreign governments,” as reported by Fox News.
Foundation President Donna Shalala said in a statement that the returns were revised after a voluntary review of the charity’s past tax returns. She added that the corrections were not required by law.
“There is no change in our bottom line numbers: assets, liabilities, and net assets,” Shalala wrote in a statement to the foundation’s supporters that was obtained by Reuters. “There is nothing to suggest that the Foundation intended to conceal the receipt of government grants, which we report on our website.”
The amended Form 990 tax returns were for the years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. An affiliated charity, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, also amended its returns for 2012 and 2013.
The foundation now reports receiving $20 million in government funds between 2010 and 2013, most of it from foreign governments. The foundation had neglected to state its government funding separately from other funding sources in its original returns.
The foundation also revealed that it raised $177 million in 2014, the year before Hillary Clinton announced her run for the presidency.
Not bad for a humble little charity founded by the “dead broke” Clintons.
“Founded by former president Bill Clinton initially to raise money for a presidential library, the foundation has become a $2 billion charitable behemoth, devoted to combating global poverty, improving health care and promoting education around the world,” the Washington Post describes the operation with a straight face, while somehow forgetting to mention that the amount of money actually directed to those causes by the Clinton Foundation is such a tiny fraction of the cash it harvests that reputable watchdog organizations hesitate to describe it as a “charity” at all.
The same IRS that investigated the living daylights out of grassroots political organizations and kitchen-table pro-life groups is happy to let the Clinton Foundation “amend” its tax returns whenever they get around to it. Tax-exempt applications were not denied, but delayed until after the 2012 election, while the IRS demanded little neighborhood political groups submit their prayer books for review, while the Clinton cash machine gets unlimited do-overs on its tax returns… and we’re expected to believe power was not abused for political purposes in any way. Funny how that works.
“It’s a Hillary super PAC that throws in the occasional good deed,” Kimberly Strassel said of the Clinton Foundation in a June piece for the Wall Street Journal. “That much is made obvious by looking at the foundation’s employment rolls. Most charities are staffed by folks who have spent a lifetime in nonprofits, writing grants or doing overseas field work. The Clinton Foundation is staffed by political operatives. It has been basically a parking lot for Clinton campaign workers—a comfy place to draw a big check as they geared up for Hillary’s presidential run.”
It’s not pressure from our titanic government and its army of weaponized auditors that inspired the Clinton Foundation to redo its books. It’s private watchdogs writing books about the Clinton’s shadowy finances, and doing the necessary diligence on all that paperwork everyone else is expected to get right the first time, no matter how high-minded their goals. It’s also interesting that Hillary Clinton’s foundation is reshuffling its papers right after she started taking some heat from her putative Democratic presidential rivals for her love of big Wall Street money.
As the Washington Post relates, Shalala claimed the adjustments were made out of a commitment to “disclosure and thoroughness.” Why wasn’t that commitment in evidence until November 2015? When most people learn about four years of retroactive adjustments to tax returns, their immediate response probably won’t involve swooning over disclosure and thoroughness.
Their immediate response will more likely run along the lines of, “Wow, I didn’t know you could just revise four-year-old tax returns without penalty!” As they say about crazy stunts on TV shows, I wouldn’t recommend you try this at home. It’s not much comfort to hear that what the Clinton Foundation is doing is perfectly legal… not at a moment when Americans are rising up in trans-partisan fury against rules written to benefit the powerful and well-connected, while the Little Guy can be ruined over small mistakes he didn’t know he was making.
Sure, the partisan wings of that movement have very different ideas about which aspects of this system are most unfair, and which beneficiaries are most objectionable, but the Clinton Foundation’s revenue stream is not something Hillary Clinton wants anyone talking about right now.
Update: The Washington Examiner reports that the Clinton Foundation’s amended tax forms include “$8.8 million in government grants that was not previously listed.” No doubt each and every one of us would enjoy the same “no harm, no foul” treatment from the IRS if we forgot to mention almost nine million dollars in revenue.