An IRS audit of Washington VFW Post 2661 has been completed with no major issues, an official with the local veterans organization said Wednesday.
VFW Quartermaster Mike Corbett said the outcome of the audit was a “small fine,” but he declined to say on the record what the fine was for.
Corbett said the fine still had to be calculated, but he said it would probably be less than $100 since the IRS found some “small items.”
“It ended super,” Corbett said, adding that the auditor was professional in her handling of the review.
The audit upset Commander Kurt Gansmann, who viewed the action as a government intrusion on an organization made up of people who put their lives on the line for the country.
Likewise, Senior Vice Commander Steve Graves asked why the IRS would pick on the VFW. It seemed as if the IRS was questioning the VFW’s integrity, Graves added.
The audit even spurred Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, to write a letter to U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“I hope that you will help push for a stop to this needless targeting of veterans’ organizations,” Jones stated in his letter.
Jones also said he was aware of similar audits at VFW and American Legion posts in Jackson, Wentzville and Sikeston, which he says is a “clear sign” they are being targeted.
The IRS checked the VFW’s membership, Corbett said, adding that he thought the IRS was going to try to take away the organization’s tax-exempt status. The IRS was trying to find out if there were ineligible members in the VFW, he added.
The IRS cannot take away the VFW’s tax-exempt status “because we’re following all of the guidelines,” Corbett said.
The Washington VFW only had membership applications going back 19 years because previous officials had thrown them away after acceptance, he said.
Despite not having full membership applications on file, Corbett said there are still membership records with the national VFW.
So the auditor did a random sampling of the applications that the post does have and liked what she saw, Corbett said.
The auditor also looked at the organization’s financial records, and the Washington VFW “came through that with flying colors,” he said.
The Washington VFW has three employees — two bartenders and a maintenance worker.
The auditor made two visits to the Washington VFW during the audit.