Occupy Wall Street has reportedly received about $500,000 in donations so far, which is an interesting amount of capital for a bunch of anti-capitalism demonstrators to compile in about six weeks. And you know what that means. Inevitably, there has been fighting over the money that belongs to this avowedly leaderless movement:
Occupy Wall Street is awash with cash, some $500,000 by one estimate, thanks to generous donations. However, questions about spending that money have provoked controversy among the people who have gathered at Zuccotti Park to protest greed. Various groups of people are finding that the utopian society that they have created comes with bureaucratic red tape.
There is a Finance Committee that grabs as much of the money it can and is reluctant to dole it out. That sounds very much like the government outside Zuccotti Park. In effect, the Occupy Wall Street protestors are finding out that their taxes are too high.
Speaking of taxes, who does the IRS see about getting its slice of OWS's $500,000?
Nobody, that's who. OWS has hired a certified 501(c)3 non-profit entity to receive and disperse its money, which makes OWS's stash non-taxable to them and tax-deductible by the donors. Their 'fair share' of the nation's tax burden, then, is zero.
The tax haven for OWS is the Alliance for Global Justice, which explains the relationship this way:
What do OWS and our other fiscally sponsored projects get out of the relationship? They get additional accounting and administrative staff support and advice. They get to offer their donors tax-deductions for their donations. They get online donation capacity and staff to process and deposit donation checks as well as to send the IRS-required form for donations of $250 or more. They don’t have to worry about IRS forms and deadlines. They are covered by our liability insurance. If they have paid staff, which OWS does not, we handle their payroll and enroll them in our group health policy. For an organization like United Students Against Sweatshops, which rotates an entirely new staff in every couple of years, we provide continuity and organizational memory.
Many supporters ask if AFGJ takes a portion of the donations. We charge a relatively low rate for fiscal sponsorship, at a flat 7% of all money that passes through our channels for processing.
It's a good thing all these guys are part of the 99%, otherwise that could be called greed and corruption.