The process to form a nonprofit homeschool organization and apply for tax exempt status can seem daunting.
This checklist will help you know the steps to take and the correct order.
If you need help at any step or want a personal consultation to discuss your unique situation, please contact Carol Topp, CPA.
Checklist for Homeschool Organizations Applying for 501c3 Tax Exempt Status
Phase I: Setting Up Your Organization
- Choose a name for your nonprofit. Research the IRS Charities web site, the internet, and your state’s Secretary of State’s Office to be sure it is not already taken.
- Choose a board of directors (often only three people are needed, a president/director, a treasurer and secretary). Board members should be unrelated to each other. More is usually better, including a vice-chair/director.
- Develop organizational by laws—the rules by which you will operate. Sample bylaws.
- Create a budget and list sources of income and expenses.
Phase II: Forming a Nonprofit Organization
- Hold your first board meeting. Get approval of the by laws and approval to form a nonprofit corporation.
- Draft an organizing document (Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Association) including a statement of your purpose. Specific language required by the IRS needs to be included in your Articles. Sample Articles and the IRS-required language.
- Carol Topp, CPA can review your Articles for compliance with the IRS requirements. Contact Carol.
- Incorporate as a nonprofit organization in your state. Submit Articles of Incorporation to the appropriate office in your state government with the required fee. This is usually the Secretary of State’s Office.
- Obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) using the name of the corporation, submitting IRS Form SS-4 either on-line. Go to IRS.gov and type EIN in the search box.
- Carol’s book Money Management in a Homeschool Organization has details on how to apply for an EIN.
Phase III: Apply for 501c Tax Exempt Status
- Read all you can on filing for tax exempt status. Carol Topp’s book, The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization will be very helpful.
- Consider a phone consultation with Carol Topp, CPA to discuss the details of your particular organization.
- Have the board vote their approval for filing 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.
- File IRS Form 1023 or Form 1023-EZ to become a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, preferably within 27 months of the date of incorporation. Carol Topp, CPA can help with this rather daunting task. Her specialty is homeschool organizations and she has helped over 80 nonprofits receive tax exempt status from the IRS. Contact her.
- Pay filing fees to the IRS of $850 if you anticipate having revenue of over $10,000 per year, or $400 if you anticipate having revenue of less than $10,000 per year. If your organization is eligible to file the Form 1023-EZ, the IRS fee is $275. Carol’s fees are in addition to the IRS fees.
- Register as a charity within your state. Visit Harbor Complicance to see what your state requires. They have a listing by state on their left sidebar. Carol Topp, CPA can also help you determine what your state filing requirements will be for your organization. Contact Carol.
Carol Topp, CPA, the HomeschoolCPA, is available to assist your homeschool organization every step of the way. Through her website HomeschoolCPA.com, books, podcast, and consultations, she makes confusing IRS rules easy to understand. Carol has assisted over 80 organizations receive 501c tax exempt status.