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Senate finance committee recommends tighter laws for charities

[JURIST] The US Senate Finance Committee released a report Tuesday saying stricter laws may be necessary to prevent insider deals, regulate moneymaking ventures, and open more activities to public scrutiny in large nonprofit organizations. The recommendation follows a two-year investigation of the Nature Conservancy [non-profit website], a nonprofit land conservation organization, which revealed that the charity acted more like a large corporation by maximizing its tax advantages through aggressive planning. Committee Chairman Charles Grassley [official website] released a statement [PDF] saying that "current law has not kept up with the sophistication and complexity of many of today's charities," which are acting in ways that Congress did not intend when it approved tax-exempt laws for nonprofits. The Nature Conservancy, which cooperated with the committee's investigation, said that it has already implemented changes [statement] to address nearly every point of the committee's report. The committee will meet Wednesday [agenda] to review the report and concerns regarding land donations and the tax code in general. Read the Nature Conservancy's review of the Senate committee report [press release]. AP has more.

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