By Jesse Wood
May 15, 2013. Franklin Graham sent President Barack Obama a letter yesterday claiming that the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, which has headquarters in Watauga County, was profiled by the Internal Revenue Service. IRS agents conducted onsite audit reviews of both organizations last October concerning 2010 tax filings.
Last Friday, The Associated Press reported that the IRS apologized and acknowledged that it targeted conservative political groups such as the Tea Party to see if those groups were violating their tax-exempt status.
In his letter Graham wrote, “As an American, the recent admission by the Internal Revenue Service that it had targeted not-for-profit organizations with “Tea Party” and “Patriot” in their names for audits is chilling. However, I write today to inform you this profiling by the IRS was not limited to conservative political organizations; indeed, it extended to religious charities – Jewish and Christian – as well.”
Graham noted that several months after the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ran full-page ads across the state supporting the traditional marriage amendment that the IRS sent notification of the audit reviews to take place.
“In light of what the IRS admitted to on Friday, May 10, 2013, and subsequent revelations from other sources, I do not believe that the IRS audit of our two organizations is a coincidence – or justifiable,” Graham wrote.
Read the entire letter below, where Graham confirms that the organizations remain qualified for tax-exempt status and condemns the “wasted taxpayer money” on the audits.