Is your homeschool group “just a bunch of moms”?

I’ve heard this too many times from homeschool group leaders to ignore it any longer.

“We’re just a bunch of homeschool moms”

It’s usually used along with one of these sentences,

…therefore we don’t want to (or need to) ...

  • be formally structured
  • follow the law
  • pay taxes
  • apply for tax exempt status
  • pay our workers as employees (according to the law)
  • record our income or expenses
  • notify our church host of the for-profit nature of our group, etc…

I’ve heard or read just about every one of these excuses!

Does saying “we’re just a bunch of homeschool moms” imply that:

  • homeschool moms are incapable of running legitimate businesses or nonprofit organizations?
  • homeschool moms can’t understand legal and tax issues?
  • homeschool moms are claiming ignorance as a defense against obeying the law?

Homeschool moms are intelligent, capable women. I know of hundreds of homeschool moms running businesses and nonprofit organizations very successfully and legally. I know some that are accountants and lawyers or, in the true spirit of homeschooling, are self-educated to understand complex tax and legal situations.

So let’s not imply that homeschool moms are not capable or not intelligent by saying “we’re just a bunch of homeschool moms”!

Instead, we should do what we do at home with our children:

Get educated about the legal and financial aspects of running a homeschool organization.

I have resources to help:

 

Carol Topp, CPA

Helping Homeschool Leaders who are smart and capable!

 

Tiny Homeschool Groups: Are We a Nonprofit?

Tiny Homeschool Groups: Are We a Nonprofit?

Tiny homeschool groups have different challenges than large programs. They are limited on resources, volunteers, and activities. But they still have questions about legal status, money and taxes that the large homeschool organizations have.

In this 4-part podcast series, Carol Topp, CPA answers the common questions that tiny homeschool groups face. All podcasts are available at HomeschoolCPA.com/Podcast

  • Episode #175 Are We a Nonprofit?
  • Episode #176 Do We Need to File Anything?
  • Episode #177 Do We Need to Pay Taxes?
  • Episode #178 Do We Need a Bank Account?

In this episode of the HomeschoolCPA podcast, Carol Topp will share:

  • Should our homeschool group be a nonprofit?
  • What does it take to be a nonprofit?
  • Aren’t we just a bunch of homeschool moms?
  • How can we avoid unnecessary paperwork?
  • How can we keep this simple?

Join the Facebook group for homeschool leaders: I am a Homeschool Group Leader. 600+ homeschool leaders offer ideas, encouragement and respectful exchange of ideas. https://www.facebook.com/groups/72534255742/

 

Featured Product

The  Board Manual for homeschool organizations will be very helpful to organize your board and run your homeschool organization successfully!

Author and homeschool advisor, Carol Topp, CPA, has created a Homeschool Organization Board Manual. It is a template to create a board member binder. It has:

  • A list of important documents to keep in your binder
  • Section dividers so you can organize the important papers
  • Tools to help you run your meetings smoothly including
  • A sample agenda that you can use over and over again
  • A calendar of board meetings

But this is more than just a few cover sheets for your binder. It is also a 55-page board training manual with helpful articles on:

  • Suggested Board Meeting Topic List
  • Board Duties
  • Job Descriptions for Board of Directors
  • What Belongs in the Bylaws?
  • Compensation and Benefits for Board Members
  • Best Financial Practices Checklist
  • How to Read and Understand Financial Statements
  • Developing a Child Protection Policy

Read more about the Homeschool Organization Board Manual

How to self declare tax exempt status

In my webinars on Creating a Nonprofit for a Homeschool Community and 501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits, I briefly mentioned that some homeschool groups can self declare tax exempt status.

I didn’t go into detail of HOW to self declare this tax exempt status. This blog post explains the HOW.

Background:

Organizations that are eligible to self declare 501 tax exempt status do not have to apply for tax exempt status with the IRS. So no Form 1023/1023-EZ or 1024 needs to be filed! This saves you time and money! Hooray.

But self-declared tax exempt organizations must still maintain that tax exempt status by filing an annual report with the IRS. This annual filing is Form 990/990-EZ or 990-N.

 

If you are a 501c7 social club:

This status is common for homeschool support groups that focus on social activities and clubs rather than on educational activities

Self declare tax exempt status

Since you have not applied for 501(c)(7) status  (you can “self declare” 501(c)(7) status and don’t have to file the paperwork), you are not in the IRS database (yet) so you will not be able to file the 990-Ns. You will need to call the IRS Customer Account Services at 1-877-829-5500 and be added to their Exempt Organization database so you can begin filing the Form 990-Ns.

It typically takes 6 weeks after you call to be added to the IRS database.

Tips when calling the IRS

Say something like this,

“We’re a brand new 501(c)(7) Social Club and we needed to get added to the IRS exempt organization database so we can start filing our 990-Ns.”

 


If you are a 501c3 Educational Organization

This status is common for tiny homeschool groups including co-ops, tutorials, youth sports, music and arts organizations that focus on educational activities.

Your organization’s total gross revenues must be less than $5,000 per year to be eligible to self declare 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.* 501(c)(7) social clubs mentioned above do not have that $5,000/year limitation. They can have gross revenues of more than $5,000/year and still self-declare tax exempt status.

Read about the difference between 501(c)(7) Social clubs and 501c3 organizations.

Since you have not applied for 501(c)(3) status, you are not in the IRS database (yet) so you will not be able to file the 990-Ns. You will need to call the IRS Customer Account Services at 1-877-829-5500 and be added to their Exempt Organization database so you can begin filing the Form 990-Ns.

Tips when calling the IRS

Say this: “We’re a small 501(c)(3) educational organization with revenues of less than $5,000 per year. We understand we can self-declare our 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. We’d like to get added to the IRS exempt organization database so we can start filing our 990-Ns.”

 

*Note that only 501(c)(3) organizations with less than $5,000 annual gross revenues can “self-declare” their tax exempt status. 501(c)(3) s with more than $5,000/year in revenues must apply for501(c)(3) status using Form 1023 or the new, shorter Form 1023-EZ.


For both  501c7 Social Clubs and 501c3 Educational Organizations

During your call with the IRS, they will ask for your EIN and organization’s name, address, and probably a contact name. Have all that ready before you call.

They may also ask what date your fiscal year ends. Many support groups operate on a calendar year, but some operate on a school year with a year end of June 30 or July 31. You get to pick it!

They may ask if you have “organizing documents.” They mean bylaws, Articles of Association (or Articles of Incorporation). So tell them if you have bylaws or Articles of Association/Articles of Incorporation. Samples can be found here.

Call the IRS early in the morning. They open at 8 am local time and you can usually get through pretty quickly of you call then. Record the date you call, the IRS employee name and their identification number.

Don’t forget to the the 990-N every year!

Be sure you go online to file the Form 990-N anytime after your fiscal year ends and before its due date which is 4 1/2 months after the end of your fiscal year.

So if you operate on a calendar year, the 990-N is due May 15. If your fiscal year ends June 30, the From 990-N is due November 15 every year. File it at IRS.gov/990n

 

Have more questions about your homeschool organization’s tax exempt status? My book, The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization would be a big help.

 

 

 

 

If your 501(c)(3) educational organization grows and has more than $5,000 in revenues per year, it’s time to officially apply for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

This webinar 501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits will explain how to do that.

 

Carol Topp, CPA

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Military Homeschool Families: An Asset to Your Group

A military family can be an asset to your homeschool group. Find out how from homeschool leader Melissa Robb and School Liaison Officer at Newport, RI Naval Base, Pamela Martin. These two ladies have a heart for helping homeschool military families and you’ll learn the benefits of inviting them into your group.

 

 

Create a Nonprofit Organization for Your Homeschool Community

A pre-recorded webinar for homeschool groups that covers:

  • The difference between a business and a nonprofit
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a nonprofit
  • Forming a board: who can be one it, what do they do, etc.
  • Creating bylaws
  • Drafting a budget
  • Setting up a bank account
  • Forming a nonprofit corporation in your state
  • The timeline to get this all done
  • The expense to accomplish this

For more information visit Homeschoolcpa.com/CreateNP

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Apply for 501c3 Tax Exempt status on your own (this webinar will show you how!)

 

I’ve helped over 90 small nonprofit organizations apply for 501c3 status using IRS Form 1023-EZ.None have ever been denied by the IRS.

Would you like to know what I know?

I share my experience, tips, and even a few secrets that I only share with my clients in a webinar

501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits 

This webinar is for:

  • People who want to DIY (Do It Yourself) in applying for 501c3 tax exempt status but need an experienced expert to teach them how.
  • New homeschool groups formed as nonprofit organizations that want tax exempt status
  • Homeschool groups that have been around a while but never applied for 501c3 tax exempt status
  • A homeschool business that wants to convert to be a nonprofit and get tax exempt status
  • Homeschool leaders who have heard about tax exempt status, but don’t understand the steps to take.

You will learn:

  • The difference between nonprofit and tax exempt status. They are not the same thing!
  • The pros and cons of tax exempt status
  • How you could avoid applying at all, yet still get all the advantages of 501c3 status
  • What is needed before applying for tax exempt status
  • The cost and steps to take
  • An explanation of the IRS Form 1023-EZ line-by-line. This will be the crux of the webinar and will help you prepare your own 501c3 application!
  • Tips on filing the IRS Form 1023-EZ from Carol’s experience of filing over 90 applications!

After the webinar you will be equipped to file on your own the IRS Form 1023-EZ, saving you hundreds of dollars for professional help.

The cost is $25. 

What  you get for $25:

  • Webinar recording. The webinar lasts approximately 1.75 hours.
  • Handout of webinar slides
  • ebook The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization by Carol Topp, CPA
  • Sample Form 1023-EZ for your reference
  • BONUS: If you feel you need additional assistance, we can arrange a phone consultation. I will discount my hourly rate from $85 to $60/hour, so this webinar pays for itself!

This is the second part of a 3-part webinar series

The first webinar Create A Nonprofit for Your Homeschool Community is available now. I highly recommended to watch this webinar first, if you haven’t done so already!

The final webinar IRS and State Filings for Homeschool Nonprofits will air in August 2019.

 


 

Carol Topp, CPA

HomeschoolCPA.com

Military Families: How Homeschool Leaders Can Help

Homeschool leader Melissa Robb was never in the military, but she developed a heart for homeschool military families moving to her area. Listen ads she tells Carol Topp about how she helped military families with information, connections and friendship.

In this episode of the HomeschoolCPA podcast, Carol Topp will share:

  • How to welcome a military family moving to your area
  • The struggles that military homeschool families face
  • How homeschool leader Melissa Robb developed a heart for military families
  • What do homeschool military families need most
  • What time does it take to help military families
  • What can a homeschool leader to do help military families

 

 

In her webinar 501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits Carol Topp, CPA will share her tips and secrets from preparing over 150 applications for 501c3 tax exempt status

You will learn:

  • What is needed before applying for tax exempt status
  • The cost and steps to take
  • An explanation of the IRS Form 1023-EZ line-by-line. This will be the crux of the webinar
  • Tips on filing the IRS Form 1023-EZ
  • What filings may be required by your state (in addition to the IRS)
  • How you could avoid applying at all, yet still get all the advantages of 501c3 status

After the webinar you will be equipped to file on your own the IRS Form 1023-EZ, saving you hundreds of dollars for professional help.

More information at HomeschoolCPA.com/501c3APP

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Homeschool leader stepping down: Who to notify?

Hi Carol,

I am stepping down from the leadership of my homeschool group and wonder what I need to do. What forms to file, contacts to make, etc. Can you direct me, please? We are a 501c3 in Pennsylvania.

Thanks in advance!

Jill

 

Jill,

Congratulations on your “retirement”! Well done, good and faithful servant. 🙂

There might be quite a few things to do to remove your name from state and IRS documents.

In my ebook Homeschool Organization Board Manual I explain what to do when a board members leaves or the board changes.

This Board Manual might be helpful to your remaining board members since it is a combination of a template for your board to create binders to keep important documents and a board training manual to explain the board’s duties and responsibilities.

 

 

 

It is common for nonprofits to change leaders and signers on the checking account quite frequently, maybe annually! Here’s what you need to do if your board members change.

Notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) when you file your annual information return, Form 990-N, 990-EZ or 990 that the board members have changed. You do not have to notify the IRS mid-year; only notify them when you file the 990.  The 990-N electronic postcard only asks for one officer’s name. The Forms 990-EZ and 990 have you list all board members.

Notify your State: Your state may require an annual report to the Secretary of State Office and/or the Attorney General. Often the states require an annual update and on that report you list the current board members. Each state is different, so you’ll have to research the details for your state. Research using this helpful website: https://www.harborcompliance.com/information/nonprofit-compliance-guide

Change Your Mailing Address: You can change your address with the IRS by simply providing the new address on your annual information return, Form 990-N, 990-EZ or 990.

Changing your address with your state may involve several agencies including the Secretary of State and Attorney General. Each state is different, so you’ll have to research the details for your state. You can research using this website: https://www.harborcompliance.com/information/nonprofit-compliance-guide

Change the Responsible Party on your EIN: You can change the responsible person on your organization’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) by filing an IRS Form 8822-B https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8822b.pdf.

Change your Registered Agent: If you are a nonprofit corporation in your state (meaning you filed official Articles of Incorporation with your state), you assigned a Registered Agent. This is a personal who is a resident of your state and should always know how to reach your organization. Many states list the current Registered Agent on their websites. Do a search on “YOUR STATE Corporate search” then follow links to your state governments’ list of corporations (both for-profit and nonprofit). The list of corporations is usually maintained by the Secretary of State’s Office.

To change the registered agent for your organization, go to your Secretary of State’s website and look for a document called Change of Registered Agent.

Notify the bank: You will probably have to visit your bank in person with the new checkbook signers. They will need identification (like a Drivers License). At that time they can change the mailing address on file.

Make sure you remind the new treasurer to change the password for online access to the checking account as well.

 

I hope that helps!

Carol Topp, CPA
HomeschoolCPA.com
Helping homeschool leaders

Webinar: 501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits

Have you heard that applying for 501c3 tax exempt status is difficult, time consuming and expensive? Well, it can be, so Carol Topp, CPA the HomeschoolCPA wants to make applying for 501c3 tax exempt status a lot easier for you!

So easy, you can do it yourself!

In this webinar 501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits Carol shares her tips and secrets to apply for 501c3 tax exempt status with the IRS.

You will learn:

  • The difference between nonprofit and tax exempt status. They are not the same thing!
  • The different types of 501c organizations there are and which are most common for homeschool groups
  • The pros and cons of tax exempt status
  • How you could avoid applying at all, yet still get all the advantages of 501c3 status
  • What is needed before applying for tax exempt status
  • The cost and steps to take
  • An explanation of the IRS Form 1023-EZ line-by-line. This is the crux of the webinar and will help you prepare your own 501c3 application!
  • Tips on filing the IRS Form 1023-EZ from Carol’s experience of filing over 90 applications!
  • What filings may be required by your state (in addition to the IRS)

After the webinar you will be equipped to file on your own the IRS Form 1023-EZ,

saving you hundreds of dollars for professional help.

The cost is $25.  The webinar runs approximately 1.75 hours.

What  you get for $25:

  • Access to the webinar recording
  • Handout of webinar slides
  • Sample Form 1023-EZ for your reference
  • ebook The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization by Carol Topp, CPA
  • BONUS: If you feel you need additional assistance, I will discount my hourly rate from $85 to $60/hour if you have purchased the webinar.

This is the second part of a 3-part webinar series

The first webinar Create A Nonprofit for Your Homeschool Community is available now. I highly recommended to watch this webinar first, if you haven’t done so already!

The final webinar IRS and State Filings for Homeschool Nonprofits will air in August 2019.


Carol Topp, CPA

HomeschoolCPA.com

How to wrap up your year as treasurer

It’s near the end of the year for many homeschool nonprofit organizations.

Here’s a list of tasks for a treasurer to do to finish the year:

  • Enter all transactions and check to ensure that your bank reconciliations are up-to-date for the entire year.
  • Fill out the IRS 990/990EZ or 990N if required. As the Treasurer, you are the most appropriate person to fill out this annual IRS form.
  • Give a year end summary to your board. My free webinar Financial Reports for Homeschool Nonprofits will show you good, bad and ugly financial reports.
  • Make a list of any items that you or the next treasurer needs to address that might be out of the norm like outstanding checks.
  • Change authorized banking signatures, if needed. Change names on state registrations and the IRS EIN too. How to change responsible party name on EIN.
  • Put together a list of important deadlines like insurance renewal, Form 990 dues date, state registration deadlines, etc. If you are the next year’s treasurer, put these dates on your calendar.
  • Review the next year’s budget with the incoming treasurer. Don’t have a budget? This should help How do I create a budget for my homeschool group?
  • Train the incoming treasurer. My Board Manual  can serve as a board training guide.

My book Money Management in a Homeschool Organization is a guide for treasurers of homeschool organizations. If you don’t have a copy, buy one today. Maybe you’ll say like Mara, a homeschool treasurer in Washington did, “I was also pleased to learn that we are doing many things right!”

 

Carol Topp, CPA

Special Needs Resources for Homeschool Co-ops

As a homeschool leader you may need some resources to help you understand a special needs child in your homeschool co-op. Faith Berens, the Special Needs Consultant at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), shares several resources with host Carol Topp in today’s (16 minute) episode.

HSLDA’s list of resources https://hslda.org/content/strugglinglearner/default.asp

KeyMinistry.org Download their free toolkit
Joni And Friends
CLC Network. Books for children with autism
Let All the Children Come to Me by MaLesa Breedon
Access Ministry downloads such as “20 Ways to Calm a Child”

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has Special Needs Consultants for members.

Compassion, HSLDA’s charitable foundation, has grants for special needs and hardship needs including therapy and equipment

Group services attorney Darren Jones can address Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and legal questions.

 

Faith Berens can be reached by email at SpecialNeeds@HSLDA.org.

 

Featured Product

Homeschool Co-ops:
How to Start Them, Run Them and not Burn Out

Have you ever thought about starting a homeschool co-op? Are you afraid it will be too much work? Do you think you’ll have to do it all by yourself? Starting a homeschool co-op can be easy! This book Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out will give you ideas, inspiration, tips, wisdom and the tools you need to start a homeschool co-op, run it and not burn out!

Click Here to request more information!

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