Monday, February 20, 2012

Tax authorities revoke the charitable status of Walk-The-Plank Pirate Trust

US tax officials are pulling the plug on the nation’s largest pirate charity.

Last week, the IRS revoked the charitable status of The Walk-The-Plank Pirate Trust, a charitable foundation established by the infamous Captain Blackbeard in Tortuga in 1717. In a statement, the IRS said the nearly three hundred year old charity had failed to do any real charitable works since 1847 and was now a money laundering scheme for smuggled rum and stolen Spanish Gold Doubloons.

Six months ago IRS investigators raided the Trust’s head office on a pirate sailing ship called the Jolly Roger off the Captain Kidd’s secret treasure island near Florida. They found the Trust had not been keeping proper records of donation tax receipts. The Trust stopped recording fundraising transactions after their accountant was shot dead 165 years ago during a drunken party that lasted until the US Civil War in 1861.

Trust Executive Director Captain Martin Bloodworth said they were very disappointed by the IRS ruling and are planning either a legal appeal or to sail down the Potomac River to Washington and ransack the capitol. 

“Arrrgh. Me thinks dis here ruling be a bad one. A judgement upon us like this one, matey, can only lower our brand equity all the way to Davey Jone’s Locker.  We’ll be discussin' 'tis at th' scurvy pirate council 'tis evenin'. There will be some might mad band 'o pirates thar, that’s fer sure,” said Captain Bloodworth.

The Trust says the IRS ruling is unfair and doesn’t take into account all the good works they do for the community.

“Why only last month we helped one 'o th' barnacle-covered retired pirates who had his pegleg blown off by a cannon ball a long time ago. A beaver had eaten his last pegleg, so we gave him a new one donated by a stout good citizen from these parts,” said Captain Bloodworth. “In all that raw philanthropy, we didn’t have th’ time to do the paperwork on the citizen’s tax receipt, damn us to Hell!”

The IRS report, which was made public last week, found that the money from pirate charity’s donations in fact  came from smuggling, robbing and sinking treasure ships. Under US tax laws, people forced to walk the plank or keel hauled cannot be issue tax receipts for their “donations”, since they were made under duress. The report also found that the staff of the Trust were mostly illiterate, diseased and ornery. During the raid one IRS agent was strapped to a canon. It took the intervention of other agents to prevent him from being blown apart by drunken pirates. 

“I ain't saying much 'bout them IRS scurvy dogs. They were all extra borin' 'n refused to drink wit' us. I don't trust a scurvy dog who's more sober than me. And besides, my parrot knows more about the tax code then they do,” said Captain Bloodworth.

The IRS has ordered the Trust to pay $50,000 in fines and appointed an outside auditor to review future tax receipts. The auditor went aboard the Jolly Roger last week and has not been seen since. In a strange twist, bits of his clothes were later found in the shark-infested water near the ship. Police suspect he must have fallen off the ship at night after tying himself up and have ruled it an accident.

The Trust says the ruling has not changed their commitment to helping the community and plan to continue their charitable works.

“We're gonna have to be off ashore 'n dig up some 'o our buried treasure. It’s a rather big deal. We be using a 200 year old map, not that thar Google Earth. It’ll take us hours of combing the island for the spot marked X,” said Captain Bloodworth. “But never you fear, matey, a few good treasure ships under our belt and we’ll be back in business again making the world a better place for everyone, including pirates.”