HSUS Alters Tax Return Data in Light of IRS Complaint

IRStroubleWe received a copy of HSUS’s 2012 tax return today. You may recall that we recently filed a formal complaint with the IRS over HSUS’s previous tax returns. In short, we believed that HSUS was inflating its revenue in violation of IRS instructions by counting PSA air time as “contributions.” Bloomberg News reported on the matter, and quoted a Minnesota tax attorney who specializes in nonprofit returns who backed up our position. CharityWatch, which gives HSUS a “C-minus” grade, also wrote that HSUS was violating IRS rules.

And it seems HSUS is now admitting guilt, so to speak. On Page 1 of its latest return, HSUS lists different—much lower—figures for 2011. The “contributions and grants” received by HSUS dropped $17.7 million—the exact same amount that HSUS was counting as PSA “contributions.”

In short, HSUS now has some vegan egg-substitute on its face. Even more laughable in retrospect is the quote one HSUS flak gave to Bloomberg, insisting that “We follow the advice of our legal and accounting experts.”

HSUS still hasn’t (yet) filed an amended return for 2011. We also requested and received a new copy of that return, and it still has the same old incorrect numbers. We suggest that HSUS hurry up and issue an amended return—the IRS can levy a $100 fine per day for filing a return with “incorrect information.” But then again, HSUS has never shown a particular appreciation for donor dollars—this is a group that, according to Animal People Newsblows 55% of its budget on overhead.

We’ll have more analysis shortly regarding the rest of HSUS’s financials. And we’ll be sure the IRS knows about this latest development.