Tag Archive for charitable organizations

Misguided Thinking in Washington—Tax Exempt Status

John Stancil

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch (R) recently sent a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. At the heart of the issue raised by Senator Hatch was his concern that many private museums should not receive 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Much of his reasoning seems to indicate a lack of understanding in regard to many of the smaller museums that dot the landscape of the United States. While not major tourist attractions, these museums do much to help preserve the history of a particular segment of our past. Many may not have wide appeal, but there frequently are a small cadre of dedicated adherents. I will, however, be the first to admit that 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status may be abused by an individual seeking to shield his hobby from any tax consequences while generating a revenue stream or other tax benefits. But don’t penalize all small museums due to a few bad apples.

Read more

Don’t Be Scammed By Fake Charities

Barry Fowler30

As the end of the year approaches, you will probably be besieged by requests from charitable organizations for contributions. The holiday season is the favorite time of the year for charities to solicit donations.

But you should be aware that it is also the time of year when scammers show up in force, pretending to be legitimate charities in hopes of deceiving you into giving them your hard-earned money.

When making a donation, you should take a few extra minutes to ensure your gifts are going to legitimate charities. has a search feature, Exempt Organizations Select Check, which allows people to find legitimate, qualified charities to which donations may be tax-deductible. Read more

How To Lose Your Tax-Exempt Status

A cartoon illustration of a priest looking confused.

Many people, particularly those involved in 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organizations, are familiar with the process of applying to the IRS in order to receive tax-exempt status. Organizations that have obtained this status can accept tax-deductible contributions from donors. Obviously, this is critical to such organizations.

Tax-exempt status should not be taken for granted. When obtained, it is for an indefinite period. However, an organization can lose its tax exempt status, either by voluntarily surrendering it or having it revoked by the IRS. If revoked by the IRS, it may be retroactive if the church or organization omitted or misstated material facts or operated in a manner significantly different than originally represented. More frequently, however, the revocation will be effective no earlier than the date on which the organization received written notice Read more