Friday, July 21, 2006

CABINET MEMBER SCAMMING IRS? --
Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt and his relatives have claimed millions of dollars in tax deductions through a type of charitable foundation they created that until recently paid out very little in actual charity, tax records show.

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The tax structure used to create the foundation is called a Type III supporting organization. The Internal Revenue Service has said the category is rife with abuse, designating "supporting organizations" this year as one of its "Dirty Dozen" top tax scams, along with Internet identity theft and offshore banks. Use of the tax structure could be significantly reined in under a tax provision that was inserted into pension legislation passed by the Senate and now under negotiation with the House.

Leavitt and his brother Dane have defended the family's actions as both legal and ethical.