Al Sharpton can't shake his money problems

The nonprofit group he founded in 1991 called National Action Network owes more than $800,000 in taxes and is more than $1M in the red.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 23, 2013 3:35PM
Al Sharpton (© Paul Sancya/AP)The nonprofit group run by Al Sharpton, the MSNBC broadcaster whose profile has risen in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case, owes $871,688 in unpaid payroll taxes including penalties and interest, according to filings with both the state of New York and the Internal Revenue Service.

Sharpton founded the National Action Network (NAN) in 1991, but it has been dogged by financial woes for years. He has loaned money to the New York-based organization, which has a deficit of more than $1 million. The filings indicate those loans stand at about $111,000. The New York Post, which reported on Sharpton's money woes in 2011, quoted National Action Network executive director Tamika Mallory saying the group's board of directors had voted to "resolve" its tax issues. Apparently, that hasn't happened yet.

"Since February 2010, the Organization has been in the process of negotiating an offer in compromise to settle all payroll taxes and related interest and penalties owed by the Organization to the Internal Revenue Service," according to the New York fling, which is an audited financial statement dated November 13, 2012. "The Organization feels that the likelihood of a favorable outcome is highly likely."
Whether NAN still feels that way is unclear. A spokesperson for the group didn't respond to an email request for comment. Sharpton pleaded guilty in 1993 to a misdemeanor tax offense to avoid felony charges, the Post said in a 2012 editorial. It and other websites noted Sharpton's checkered financial history when he and other African-American leaders met with President Barack Obama earlier this year to discuss the economy.

The seriousness of NAN's tax problem cannot be understated, according to an expert on nonprofits. "He could really get into a lot of trouble," says Daniel Borocoff, the head of CharityWatch, a watchdog group, in an interview with MSN moneyNOW. "It's a red flag that the group may go under."

Sharpton himself earned more than $241,402 in compensation from NAN in 2011, the latest year records are available. He is listed as working 40 hours per week. During that same year, Sharpton joined Comcast's (CMCSA) MSNBC network, replacing Keith Olbermann.

As the Post noted, NAN was sued by a hotel in Memphis for skipping out on its bill for a national convention in 2008, but it has paid off that debt. NAN also paid $5,500 to a Phoenix developer to settle a dispute over rent for a chapter office.
Despite its money problems, NAN is organizing a march scheduled for Aug. 24 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous March on Washington. The event will focus on a range of issues such as voting rights, the "stand your ground" laws, racial profiling and unemployment.

Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.

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Jul 23, 2013 3:46PM

That sounds familiar.........

Organization can't pay it's bills but he made a quarter mil.

Go away Al...please.....

Jul 23, 2013 4:01PM

Sharpton had his nfp pay him more than $241K when they couldn't meet their payroll tax liabilities. All of the libs cry when a profitable corporation pays its CEO when they have the revenue.  Sounds to me like reverend Al needs to read one of his own sermons about greed. In the end, I'm sure his buddy in the white house we'll scrounge up some taxpayer money to bail him out.

Jul 23, 2013 4:56PM
So not only is he a phony but so is his organization
Jul 23, 2013 4:12PM

Well, well, well. Can't say I'm surprised. What a "charitable" guy; stealing from his employees and from the government. Taxes owed by nonprofits are almost entirely comprised of payroll deductions from employee checks. Social security and Medicare are generally matched by the employer, but everything else is the employees.'


And he acts like he's solving problems.

Jul 23, 2013 4:17PM
He should ask Travon's parents to donate a little.
Jul 23, 2013 6:41PM

Al Sharpton is the poster child for racial and poverty pimping, even exceeding Jesse Jackson. Black americans will never collectively elevate their economic social status as long as they buy the race rhetoric of victimization spewed by Sharpton and his likes.

Only in america can a fool like Sharpton have the level of significance attached to his opinion and pimp it into a 6 figure income. Oh well Rev Wright received a $7 million home as a retirement gift, and then there was Jim and Tammy Fay but at least most people recognized them as entertainers and clowns not valid political or socialially important players. 

Jul 23, 2013 6:58PM
The only people who want racism in America is Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Eric Alderman that now they make their money..
Jul 23, 2013 8:10PM
Al Sharpton is a "Snake Oil Salesman" and a Charleton all rolled into one. It's amazing he actually used to hold office in Congress. Not to mention, he just loves other peoples money!!
Jul 23, 2013 7:06PM

Ha Ha.

What goes around comes around.

Watcha gunna do now Al?

The Trayvon thing ain't worked out so well for you?

Or hows about the Chicago thing. Ain't seen you much on the South Side lately.

Jul 23, 2013 6:52PM
Jul 23, 2013 4:27PM

Since Al likes to talk in rhyme:


Watermelon, barbeque, Cadillac Car;

He is as dumb as he thinks he be

Jul 23, 2013 5:39PM

Just another excuse of a human being Talking too much talk and barely has a step or two for the walk. I See him come on with his propaganda and change the Station. When these people realize that more talk should be done at home, they will have less going on outside of it .... More Educating and Less Demonstrating..... My own kind makes me wonder at times


Jul 23, 2013 6:53PM
He is a good candidate for being a member of the Presidents Economic Council- oh, I forgot, he is.
Jul 23, 2013 5:45PM
NAN is going to focus on issues such as voting rights?  What voting rights are denied to them?  Do they want two votes per person?  The only voting rights denied to people like NAN members are the loss of voting privileges because of incarceration for a felony.  They undoubtedly have plenty of those.
Jul 23, 2013 9:58PM
The TAX MAN needs to get real aggressive and get "Shake Down Al" off the streets!  I hope they fry his racially charged ****......Not much of a role model for anyone who allegedly promotes racial equality.....a genuine scumbag!...jus'sayin'
Jul 23, 2013 9:41PM
If Gomer Pyle was still alive he would say "surprise, surprise, surprise."  Al Sharpton not manage his or his organizations finances appropriately?  Al Sharpton say or do something illegal or immoral?  Al Sharpton inflame racial tensions by spreading lies, misleading statements, and false rhetoric?    This creep needs to slowly rot in jail.  Maybe a few of his prison buds can teach him the true meaning of the word victim. 
Jul 23, 2013 9:40PM
I'm interested in the part where they offer to NEGOTIATE the tax liability.  I'd iike to negotiate my tax bill as well.
Jul 23, 2013 4:58PM


Remember when God sent John Denver to tell the self serving evangelist that he was a hypocrite?  Well maybe God should send John Denver with the same message to Al.










Jul 23, 2013 7:51PM
We need People in this World to focus work on... being Individuals... not Separatists Hate groups
Jul 23, 2013 6:56PM
Liked Al better when he was fat.

Looks like an old hound dog now.

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