Don Bauder 6:30 p.m., May 22
Ministry director blames Peters, staff, for not expediting his IRS tax exemption request
Local Congressman Scott Peters has come under fire from Children’s Ministries International, Inc., a group dedicated to “glorify God by training leaders and partnering with His global church to evangelize and disciple boys and girls around the world.” [emphasis in original].
Ministry founder, president, and sole employee Steve Karges says his is “one of the conservative Christian organizations under attack by the Internal Revenue Service.”
Karges says he originally obtained tax-exempt status in 1984, and in 2012 requested a determination letter from the IRS in order to prove its status to a major donor it declines to name. He has been waiting for over a year to receive funds “because the ministry was incorporated before IRS records were stored in databases.”
“I contacted Congressman Peters for help three months ago. We needed him to intervene with the IRS on our behalf, but sadly, nothing was accomplished during that time,” says Karges.
Documents provided to the Reader by Karges indicated that the actual issue was that his organization’s tax-exempt status had been revoked due to his failure for three consecutive years to file IRS reporting forms, which Karges says as a religious organization he was exempt from filing in the first place.
Karges completed a form to reinstate his exemption, receipt of which was acknowledged by the IRS in May. He then made demands both directly to the IRS and through Peters’ office that his case be moved to the front of the processing line. An August 13 letter from the agency declined his request for special treatment.
“We take casework very seriously, do absolutely everything we can to help people, and have achieved great results for the hundreds we've served,” said MaryAnne Pintar, communications director at Peters’ office, who explained that staff was not at liberty to discuss specific constituent issues. “In some cases, however, we are limited in what we can do either by the nature of the problem, or by the willingness of the individual to work within the laws and policies of the agency.”
As of this afternoon (August 28), it appears Karges has found the help he was seeking, stating via e-mail that Daniel Werfel, acting commissioner of the IRS, had agreed to push through his exemption. Werfel’s office was not immediately available for comment.
“My faith is not in the IRS or Congressman Peters,” says Karges. “My faith is based upon the authority and truth of God's Word.”
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