January 25, 2011; Source: Willows Journal | While this article from the Willows Journal has few details, apparently the Glenn Medical Foundation that supports the Glenn Medical Center in Orland, Calif. has attracted the attention of the IRS with a high profile and pricy annual charity event. The fact that both criminal and civil charges are being weighed suggest that there is more here than just a misunderstanding of IRS regulations regarding such events.

In fact, it appears that the foundation’s legal and tax status itself is in question, and that, according to Richard Pannick of the IRS, puts any donations made this year and in previous years in question in terms of tax deductibility.

Apparently, what sparked the scrutiny was the foundation’s failure to obtain a liquor license for its very high profile event, Splendor in the Valley. More than three hundred people attended the event which raised $70,000, all of which may now be taxable. The problem, according to the article, may “trigger hundreds of audits” – obviously not a great donor retention strategy.

Confoundingly, the foundation is still accepting credit card donations online. The Medical Center itself has its own corporate and tax exempt status but there is obviously some connection to the foundation, and it is unclear whether the foundation’s work will be seen as being under the center’s umbrella – for good or for bad.—Ruth McCambridge