The Hollywood Foreign Press Association still hasn’t filed a federal tax return for 2011. Forget 2012. The last time the group that puts on the Golden Globes filed a federal tax return? Guidestar, which monitors all not-for-profits, has the 2010 return stamped, received on November 21, 2011 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. That’s almost two years ago. No return has been filed for fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.
The HFPA announced at their had their big annual ceremony in the summer of 2012 $1.2 million in donations to other charities. But so far there’s no record of it, and since then they’ve had another annual ceremony — this summer– announcing another $1.6 million in donations.
HFPA collects a $7 million fee every year from NBC. To qualify for non profit status they give away an average of $1.3 million each year to film schools, to Martin Scorsese’s film preservation charity, and a few other groups. The rest they spend on travel and expenses, even though the movie studios pick up their tabs in most locations.
Several HFPA members were seen at the Toronto Film Festival this month. And the HFPA put on a lackluster party with InStyle magazine that attracted a swath of B list stars. (A-listers like Julia Roberts and Taylor Swift went to The Weinstein Company party.) HFPA members travel the globe to see movies they could view back in Los Angeles. In Cannes, special cars take them around to various destinations.
I called the HFPA’s CPA, a man named Alex Hershtik of a firm called The CPA Advantage to ask why no Form 990 was filed in 2012 for 2011. No filing has shown up yet as well for 2012. He said, excitedly, that he couldn’t talk to me and that only the HFPA could answer those questions.
HFPA has spent the better part of the last three or four years in legal trouble with lawsuits filed against Dick Clark Productions as well as with their former publicist. Last summer I reported that they spent three times more on legal fees than on charitable donations in 2010-2011 according to their last available tax filing.
A spokesman for the HFPA says they have filed the 2011-2012 tax return. But requests for it or any information about it have so far produced nothing.
Public charities are required to turn over their filings upon request according to GuideStar. This is what they’ve posted on their website:
“The IRS states that under IRC 6104 nonprofit organizations must make their three most recent annual returns publicly available. Congress’s reasoning behind this law was to allow the general public access to the returns of organizations and trusts that accept donations from the public.The penalty for not disclosing an annual return is $20 per day for as long as the failure to comply continues, up to a maximum of $10,000 maximum fee per return not disclosed. There is no maximum fee for failure to provide the application for exemption.”