An organization helping the state Senate president pro tempore fend off criticism in the wake of news reports of tax troubles has its own IRS issues, records show.
Action Plan Oklahoma is currently running an advertising campaign aimed at drumming up support for Coffee who has been peppered with questions from reporters and Democrats about a loan he took out last year to pay off back taxes. But the organization was late filing its own reports to the IRS at least two of the last three years. One of those reports was nearly three years late, records show.
According to Action Plan Oklahoma's IRS filings, the organization's 2005 and 2006 Form 990 reports were received by the federal government Feb. 12, 2008. The IRS received the 2007 report Nov. 20, 2008.
Local IRS spokesman David Stell said the deadline for filing a Form 990 report is five months after the organization's close of its fiscal year. If that followed a calendar year, the deadline would be May 15. If it followed standard fiscal year practices, the deadline would be Dec. 15. A fine of $20 a day up to $10,000 may be imposed.
Action Plan Oklahoma is listed as a 501(c) (4) nonprofit organization. According to its 990 report, APO describes the reason for its tax exempt status as a: "nonpartisan, not for profit corporation dedicated to providing information to the general public regarding economic and social issues affecting the state of Oklahoma."
Some nonprofits are exempt from filing reports to the IRS, but those usually fall under church and charity organizations or average less than $25,000 a year in income. In 2005 and 2007, APO reported more than $300,000 in revenue.
The running television ad paid for by APO asks viewers to contact Coffee and voice support for his efforts at lawsuit reform. The advertisement claims those who are attacking Coffee are opposed to his lawsuit reform effort.
Terry Simonson, the organization's president, said he would check with the organization's accountant as to why the reports were filed late. "Scott Cooper