Media Matters for America is Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns

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American Bridge 21st Century Super PAC makes Rent Payments to Media Matters…

…But Media Matters doesn’t report the Rental Income to the IRS


In our first report, we exposed how the Clinton Campaign illegally purchased research from pro-Democrat Super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century.

In this report, we will explore American Bridge 21st Century’s questionable relationship with a separate organization, Media Matters for America.

 

What is Media Matters for America?

In their own words, “Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”

And it just so happens that they share office space with a Super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century, who, in their own words, “is a progressive research and communications organization committed to holding Republicans accountable for their words and actions and helping you ascertain when Republican candidates are pretending to be something they’re not.”

So, a not-for-profit progressive research and information center dedicated to correcting conservative misinformation shares office space with a progressive research and communications Super PAC dedicated to holding Republicans accountable.  That alone should already raise some red flags, but that’s not why we’re here.

 

How do we know these two organizations share office space?

Because American Bridge 21st Century reported the expenditures to the Federal Election Commission.  For example, on February 10th, 2014, American Bridge 21st Century disbursed $7,848.60 to Media Matters for America for the purpose of “Office Rent”.

Example of Rent Payment

You can find these payments yourself on American Bridge 21st Century’s page on the FEC’s website and selecting “Other Federal Operating Expenditures”.

For the purpose of this report, we will focus on rent payments from 2012 to 2014.  The total amounts that American Bridge 21st Century disbursed to Media Matters for the purpose of Rent are:

2012:  $159,681

2013:  $19,001

2014:  $118,797

 

So, what’s the issue?

The issue is that Media Matters for America reported that they never received those rent dollars.

Media Matters for America is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.   Non-profits file their taxes through what’s called a “Form 990” with the IRS every year.   Form 990’s for non-profits can be found on the public web, but their release is delayed by two years.  The most recent Form 990 for Media Matters we can view is from 2014.  If you’d like to follow along, you can view Media Matter’s returns on ERI’s Website.

IRS filing instructions for Form 990 provide 2 options in relation to reporting rental income:

“If the tenant’s activities are related to the organization’s exempt purpose, report rental income as program-service revenue on Part VIII, line 2, and allocable occupancy expenses on line 16. However, if the tenant’s activities are not program-related, report the rental income on Part VIII, line 6a, and related rental expenses on Part VIII, line 6b”

In English, since Media Matters for America received rental income, they should report that rental income to the IRS in one of two places on their Form 990’s:

  1. Part 8, Line 2
  2. Part 8, Line 6a

Fiscal Year 2012

American Bridge 21st Century paid $159,681 in Rent to Media Matters

Media Matters reported $0 in Rental Income to the IRS in their 2012 Form 990 filing:

Media Matters 2012 Rent Reporting

Lines 2 and 6a are both blank 

Fiscal Year 2013

American Bridge 21st Century paid $19,001 in Rent to Media Matters

Again, Media Matters reported $0 in Rental Income to the IRS in their 2013 Form 990 filing:

Media Matters 2013 Rent Reporting

Again, lines 2 and 6a are both blank 

Fiscal Year 2014

American Bridge 21st Century paid $118,797 in Rent to Media Matters

And once again, Media Matters reported $0 in Rental Income to the IRS in their 2014 Form 990 filing:

Media Matters 2014 Rent Reporting

And once again, lines 2 and 6a are both blank


In Summary

Media Matters has been filing fraudulent tax returns with the IRS by hiding rental income, and it has gone unnoticed for over 4 years.

  1. The IRS clearly states that a non-profit must report Rental Income in one of two ways.
  2. From 2012 to 2014, American Bridge 21st Century paid a total of $297,479 in Rent to Media Matters for America.
  3. From 2012 to 2014, Media Matters reported $0 in Rental income.

 

What’s next?

Here we have a Super PAC that illegally sells opposition research to Hillary Clinton, that also shares office space with a nonprofit that files fraudulent tax returns with the IRS.

We hope that doesn’t make your head spin, because we’ve really only scratched the surface.  Along with American Bridge 21st Century and Media Matters, we have identified a total of 14 organizations that operate out of the following address:

455 Massachusetts Avenue NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20001

Mind you, this isn’t a lawyers office – there are 14 organizations that physically operate out of that one single address.

Not only do these 14 organizations claim no relationship with each other, they have been funneling money in and out of one another in an incredibly alarming fashion for years.  The Citizens Audit plans to expose these records, among other wrongdoings, throughout the month of September.  We look forward to your continued readership!

 

Thank you for your support!

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