USA: Terror-Linked Muslim Group withholds tax records from IRS

Posted: January 31, 20107:47 pm Eastern

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What is America's most prominent Muslim advocacy group hiding?

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is delinquent in filing its tax returns by nearly two years, the IRS has confirmed, raising new suspicions the embattled nonprofit group is concealing from the American public details about its already shadowy financial activities.

Washington-based CAIR, which receives revenue from Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, is required by federal law to file its tax returns annually with the IRS to maintain its tax-exempt status.

However, it still has not filed its 2007 returns, according to the IRS. Its 2008 tax filing is also late.

Registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, CAIR must make its finances public each year by filing IRS Form 990.

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Under a new federal law, effective starting for tax years ending on or after Dec. 31, 2007, if an organization fails to file either Form 990-N, Form 990, or Form 990 EZ for three consecutive years, its tax-exempt status will automatically be revoked.

To waive separate IRS penalties, CAIR's national office must prove that "reasonable cause" and not "willful neglect" was behind its lengthy delay in filing its tax records.

Most of CAIR's 30 chapters have filed their 2007 returns, and many have filed their 2008 tax forms. It's not clear why CAIR National has repeatedly failed to meet the original filing deadline and subsequent three-month extensions.

Both CAIR and its outside auditor, Joey Musmar, declined comment.