Using Paypal in a homeschool group

Paypal logo

Over at the I am a Homeschool Group Leader there was a discussion on using PayPal to collect fees.

Here’s some of the tips and advice given:

We set up a PayPal and separate bank account. It has made it so easy for accepting payments. Our registration is $100. If they pay by PayPal, we’ve included a $4 fee to cover the finance charges. Nobody has complained. Others have mailed in checks for just the $100.

 

We set up a co-op email & registered the PayPal account to that email exclusively. We didn’t think to increase the fees to cover the PayPal fees, but will probably do that next year – since they are something like 2% plus $.30 cents per transaction. This has made the PayPal account entirely for the co-op – even the email comes up with the co-op name in the email. All deposits or payments to or from the PayPal account will only be linked to our co-op account. Similar to another member, myself, and the treasurer have access to our bank accounts and PayPal accounts and they are checked very regularly.

 

One other thing… you have to connect this to an email address that does not yet have a PayPal account (last time I talked to PayPal, they were discussing changing this) so you may have to set up an email for your group, if you don’t already have one.

 

Any other payments can also be received there for other things like field trips, parties, etc. I love it. Makes keeping the books so easy. There are a few people who still don’t use PayPal (especially in light of their new privacy policy), so we do still keep some records the old fashioned way.

 

You can setup a nonprofit account with PayPal so your fees aren’t as high. We only use PayPal for enrollment so we opened the account for two months. Closed it with no issues and will reopen next year during enrollment. No need to pay monthly fees for an account we aren’t using accept once a year.

 

We started using PayPal as soon as we started using Homeschool-Life website. It has been so much easier for our treasurer than cash & checks and tracking people down. We use this site to help us figure our PP fees http://thefeecalculator.com/
We ne
ed to look into converting it to a non profit account since we have our official 501 status. I believe the fees are lower then. Our families love the convenience and the generated receipt from PayPal.

 

Does your homeschool group use Paypal? Anything to add? Comment below or on my Facebook page.

Carol Topp, CPA

Group using personal Paypal account

money_exchange_100Hi Carol,

Our (homeschool group’s) yearbook is looking take in the money thru my personal paypal account, then deposit it into an separate bank account so that our Assoc. does cross over the $5000.00 mark. How is this done so that I don’t have to claim the money as extra income.

Currently the association is trying to do a paypal account not just for yearbook for membership dues, they are hesitant because they set up the a paypal account under non-profit, paypal is wanting proof of this and we don’t have it. I suggested that they explain to paypal that they we are a Unincorporated Non-Profit Assoc. and it should be fine.

Sandy in TX

Sandy,

The ideal way to operate is to set up a Paypal account for the association/homeschool group and not run anything through your personal Paypal account.

I understand from other homeschool leaders, that Paypal expects to see proof from the IRS of tax exempt status. They may also accept a nonprofit incorporation certificate from your state. They told one homeschool group they would accept “certified Articles of Incorporation.”

One homeschool registered with Paypal as “Category: Education, Subcategory: Elementary and secondary schools.” While not as accurate as “Charitable/Nonprofit”, it got the job done!

If your organization is not a nonprofit corporation or doesn’t want to be classified by Paypal as as a school, then tell your board that you are using your personal Paypal account and have them record it in the minutes of a board meeting. (“Sandy agreed to allow use of her personal Paypal account for the yearbook project”) Keep a very clear paper trail just in case you are ever audited by the IRS. Keep paper records of every transaction and especially the transfers in and out of the Paypal account. Make print outs from Paypal and file them away with wherever you keep your tax return information. (Do NOT send them to the IRS with your tax return.)

Anyone had problems setting up a Paypal account for their homeschool organization? Id like to hear your experience.

Carol Topp, CPA