Washington (July 29, 2004) -- A congressional plan to impose tougher auditing requirements on public charities and other tax-exempt organizations is drawing sharp objections from the nonprofit community and the accountants who audit their financial records.

A key element in the proposal drafted by staffers at the Senate Finance Committee calls for exempt organizations with annual gross receipts of $250,000 or more to secure independent audits of their financial statements -- a requirement that nonprofit groups say would impose a significant hardship on small charities.

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