It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Does MUFON's Claim of being an Astronomy Organization Constitute IRS Tax Fraud?

page: 1
7

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 11:11 AM
link   

MUFON's Headquarters in Newport Beach, CA

NOTE: This post involves original research conducted by me in the early months of 2015 for the purpose of learning more about an organization which has described itself as a scientific organization but whose work and public proclamations do not seem to adhere to anything resembling the scientific method.


While researching the work that the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) does I examined their publicly accessible tax records. One thing I was interested in was what type of organization MUFON claimed it was. I often would read they claimed they were a scientific organization but even a casual look at their work shows a profound lack of understanding of how science works. Their MUFON Journal and MUFON Symposium have "sciencey" names but the former involves little if any peer reviewed research and the latter is just another UFO convention full of plenty of people who tell wild stories but present little if any evidence or scientific analysis.

Through a friend, I contacted MUFON to learn what, if anything they were doing scientifically. MUFON did not return my friend's calls.

This seemed odd for an organization which claims itself as a scientific organization and as a charity raises around a quarter of a million dollars yearly, yet provides very little in the way of useful, publicly accessible, scientific analysis.


A page from MUFON's 2014 IRS Form 990


So I dived into their public records to see what else I could learn. Finding out what type of charity MUFON claimed it was would perhaps be useful. One can find this out by looking up what NTEE-CC code MUFON uses for its charitable status.

By now, you might be asking what are NTEE-CC codes?

NTEE-CC codes are part of the charity classification system (or taxonomy) developed by the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The NTEE-CC system divides nonprofit organizations into 26 major groups:

Here are the 26 major groups:


Letter Major Group Description
A Arts, Culture & Humanities
B Education
C Environment
D Animal-Related
E Health Care
F Mental Health & Crisis Intervention
G Diseases, Disorders & Medical Disciplines
H Medical Research
I Crime & Legal-Related
J Employment
K Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
L Housing & Shelter
M Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief
N Recreation & Sports
O Youth Development
P Human Services
Q International, Foreign Affairs & National Security
R Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy
S Community Improvement & Capacity Building
T Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations
U Science & Technology
V Social Science
W Public & Societal Benefit
X Religion-Related
Y Mutual & Membership Benefit
Z Unknown


I noticed right away that MUFON use an NTEE code (U31) which is reserved for science charities and organizations involved with Astronomy: (see below)




The IRS lists the U31 code as follows:

U31 - Astronomy
Organizations that conduct research in astronomy, the physical science that addresses matter and energy in the universe using observational techniques such as spectroscopy, photometry, interferometry, radio astronomy and optical astronomy.

Key words: Celestial Mechanics Research; Cosmology Research; Galactic Astronomy Research; Planetary Astronomy Research; Planetary Science Research; Planetology Research; Solar System Research; Stars; Stellar Astronomy Research; Stellar Physics Research


And MUFON does none of the above.....

Which I found ridiculous and downright offensive to organizations who really are involved in astronomy education and public outreach.

From what I can tell, MUFON is an organization loosely investing something of an unknown nature. There is nothing which firmly connects UFOs to Astronomy other than people sometimes mistaking the planet Venus or Jupiter for an unidentified flying object..

Furthermore, MUFON does not conduct any of the research activities associated with Astronomy as outlined above in the description of the U31 designation. There are other charity designations which are probably far more appropriate for the type of organization MUFON is but Astronomy is most certainly not one of them.


Decidedly low-tech board room at MUFON's Newport Beach, CA Headquarters

A casual examination of the backgrounds and expertise of people who are MUFON board members down through heads of their state chapters and further down to the principle investigators who do field investigations shows an absence of people with an astronomy background or involved with professional or even amateur astronomy research and organizations.

Which begs the question of how exactly is MUFON is involved with astronomy research???

And this question poses another: Does this misuse of the Astronomy designation by MUFON constitute tax fraud?

If so, what could happen to MUFON if they were audited on those grounds?

People who have bought into the "core story" of American "UFOlogy" allege there is a nefarious government conspiracy to thwart research into UFOs. Since the government seems to take tax fraud seriously wouldn't MUFON have already been shut down for falsely or fraudulently claiming that it is an Astronomy organization?

Perhaps the fact that MUFON hasn't could point to another possibility: That MUFON itself is in some way, useful to the government and thus protected?

What do you think?
edit on 2-7-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 11:15 AM
link   
a reply to: JadeStar

Yes out and out tax dodgers !



posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 11:18 AM
link   

originally posted by: wmd_2008
a reply to: JadeStar

Yes out and out tax dodgers !



So who would decide if they should be audited?
edit on 2-7-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 12:24 PM
link   
a reply to: JadeStar

That seems like a lot of work to have gone through for someone who claims to be "open-minded" about UFOs?

And no, there's no tax fraud claim. Do you really think MUFON would not have consulted an attorney about its organizational structure and tax status? It wouldn't even have been that time consuming or expensive.

I think these two parts of your post sum it up well here:


"There are other charity designations which are probably far more appropriate for the type of organization MUFON is but Astronomy is most certainly not one of them."


There is nothing which firmly connects UFOs to Astronomy other than people sometimes mistaking the planet Venus or Jupiter for an unidentified flying object....


What a conundrum this tax classification issue must be for those who think all UFOs are the result of misperception or fraud. Surely the intersection of human (mis)perception and possibly rare astronomical phenomena has something to do with "science" and astronomy, doesn't it? And if all UFOs are not just simple misidentifications or hoaxes, then other areas of scientific study within astronomy (astrobiology, exoplanets, interplanetary travel) may be implicated, obviously.

In other words, it's not as if MUFON has no claim for exemption under the broader category of Scientific Institutes and Services. It's one or the other -- U20, "Science- General," or U31, "Astronomy." So, beyond the territorial aggression mainstream astronomers feel towards UFOlogy, what difference would it make if MUFON were listed as exempt under U20 as opposed to U31?

Tax fraud? Your post claims or implies it, and that's quite an accusation. I wonder if you researched the issue as thoroughly as would be appropriate before casually tossing around such phrases?

Are you just upset that history will ultimately show that all these UFO kooks over the last 70 years have scooped the legitimate, 'real' scientists (and especially astronomers), the very ones who've ignored their public duties over all those decades?

Something about the motives behind your research and post just seems a little off.
edit on 2-7-2015 by TeaAndStrumpets because: (no reason given)

edit on 2-7-2015 by TeaAndStrumpets because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 12:45 PM
link   

originally posted by: JadeStar

originally posted by: wmd_2008
a reply to: JadeStar

Yes out and out tax dodgers !



So who would decide if they should be audited?


I don't really care at the end of the day they are a BIG JOKE some of the stuff they have accepted as ufo's is laughable for that reason alone them claiming to be involved in astronomy is an obvious lie.

HOW many times have they shown pictures/video of objects clearly not what they are claimed to be, we do a better job on here of sifting through the BS!



posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 01:19 PM
link   
Nvm I got an answer.

edit on 2-7-2015 by thesaneone because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 02:28 PM
link   

originally posted by: JadeStar

originally posted by: wmd_2008
a reply to: JadeStar

Yes out and out tax dodgers !



So who would decide if they should be audited?

Obviously the IRS. www.irs.gov...
You decide if you want to report it or not. Its possible that they have flown under the radar or have some loopholes they are exploiting. I believe they have to investigate it if its reported.



posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 02:40 PM
link   

originally posted by: ZetaRediculian

originally posted by: JadeStar

originally posted by: wmd_2008
a reply to: JadeStar

Yes out and out tax dodgers !



So who would decide if they should be audited?

Obviously the IRS. www.irs.gov...
You decide if you want to report it or not. Its possible that they have flown under the radar or have some loopholes they are exploiting. I believe they have to investigate it if its reported.


I won't be calling the IRS. I don't feel that it is my place to do that. However others who might be inclined, now that this thread exists, might.
edit on 2-7-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 02:51 PM
link   
a reply to: JadeStar

They lost all credibility as a scientifically oriented organization when they climbed in bed with Antonio Paris.



posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 03:01 PM
link   

originally posted by: TeaAndStrumpets
a reply to: JadeStar

That seems like a lot of work to have gone through for someone who claims to be "open-minded" about UFOs?


One can be open-minded while also being critically minded.


And no, there's no tax fraud claim.


How do you know?



Do you really think MUFON would not have consulted an attorney about its organizational structure and tax status?


Actually, considering some of what I've seen about MUFON, yes.




Tax fraud? Your post claims or implies it, and that's quite an accusation. I wonder if you researched the issue as thoroughly as would be appropriate before casually tossing around such phrases?



Indeed I have.

Here is the definition of tax fraud from the IRS themselves



Part 25. Special Topics

Chapter 1. Fraud Handbook

Section 1. Overview/Definitions


25.1.1.2 (01-23-2014)
Definition of Fraud

Fraud is deception by misrepresentation of material facts, or silence when good faith requires expression, which results in material damage to one who relies on it and has the right to rely on it. Simply stated, it is obtaining something of value from someone else through deceit.


An organization which is not engaged in any of the activities which the U31 Astronomy designation by the IRS above spells out, would appear to be committing fraud.



Are you just upset that history will ultimately show that all these UFO kooks over the last 70 years have scooped the legitimate, 'real' scientists (and especially astronomers),


Not at all. I'd love it if any of the "UFO kooks" (your phrase not mine) could bring something unassailable to the table which when examined by people in the relevant sciences, would firmly and unquestionably establish an extraterrestrial origin. I've said that many times.

While I don't think any such evidence which has been put forth by the UFO community so far rises to that level, I am open to the possibility that perhaps one day it could. Stranger things have happened in the history of science.

But that is not the issue.

What I do not like is what appears to be a deception on MUFON's part to pass itself off as an astronomy organization. There are legitimate astronomy organizations and observatories which would love to receive a quarter of a million dollars per year.

MUFON by any measure is not an astronomy organization. That doesn't mean I am against MUFON fundraising. I just think they should be honest when doing it and use a different designation more appropriate for the work which they do.



the very ones who've ignored their public duties over all those decades?


Astronomy as far as I know, only has a public duty to learn more about the universe and help educate people about it. I don't see where it has ignored that over decades.


Something about the motives behind your research and post just seems a little off.


My only motive is the truth. And in this case it looks as though the truth is that MUFON has lied on IRS forms for reasons which only they know.

If anyone from MUFON wants to find out why they file 990s as a U31 Astronomy Organization please feel free to post here.
edit on 2-7-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 03:48 PM
link   
a reply to: JadeStar

Frankly, they would be better off filing as a tax-free religion.



posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 03:56 PM
link   
a reply to: DJW001



Frankly, they would be better off filing as a tax-free religion.


thats about the size of it - any association they claim with the word 'scientific' is laughable imo



posted on Jul, 2 2015 @ 05:59 PM
link   
a reply to: TeaAndStrumpets

What a conundrum this tax classification issue must be for those who think all UFOs are the result of misperception or fraud.

Likewise, I am sure it would be conundrum for you if I filed as a mainstream scientific researcher of true UFOs and used that to collect donations and as a tax write-off




posted on Jul, 12 2015 @ 12:55 AM
link   
Hm... intriguing thread. I think it deserves more attention. While I do believe that there's something not quite... Homo sapiens flying in our skies, I've always found MUFON's practices to be rather fishy. They are often... reticent to share their data, and as such have become known as a "black hole where UFO sightings go in and never come out." One wonders why.



new topics

top topics



 
7

log in

join