The Juaneño Band of Mission Indians is among 20 local nonprofits whose tax-exempt status has been revoked by the IRS.
Nationwide, about 275,000 organizations automatically lost their tax-exempt status for not filing legally mandated reports for three consecutive years, despite what the IRS said was an "extensive effort" to inform organizations of the changes to federal laws.
IRS officials said they believe the vast majority of the newly revoked groups are no longer in existence and need to be removed under the Pension Protection Act of 2006. The law requires most tax-exempt organizations to file an annual information return or notice with the IRS.
Tribal Chairman Anthony Rivera said in an e-mail that the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians has been in good standing and filed all appropriate filings since 1993 and expects to eventually receive proper reinstatement.
"The tribe will file all the rest of the appropriate filing required to continue with our fundraising for tribal programs like our tribal education, youth, and elders programs," he said.
In a statement, IRS Chairman Doug Shulma said he realizes there may be some legitimate organizations, especially very small ones, that were unaware of their new filing requirement. "We are taking additional steps for these groups to maintain their tax-exempt status without jeopardizing their operations or harming their donors,” he said.