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!




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:

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:

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

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
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 will share her tips and secrets to apply for 501c3 tax exempt status with the IRS.


Wednesday June 26, 2019 at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT/6 pm MT/5 pm PT


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 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!
  • 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 will last approximately 1.5 hours. There will be time for your questions. It will be recorded for viewing later.

Wednesday June 26, 2019 at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT/6 pm MT/5 pm PT

What  you get for $25:

  • Access to the live webinar
  • Chat room to ask questions
  • Handout of webinar slides
  • Link to the webinar recording to watch later
  • Sample Form 1023-EZ for your reference
  • 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.

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday June 26, 2019 at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT/6 pm MT/5 pm PT.

Carol Topp, CPA

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 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


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!



12 moms want to start a homeschool co-op. How to get started


12 mommies started a homeschool co-op. We offer an educational learning class three times a month and social events (field trips). We are wanting to do things right. We are thinking of collecting dues and selling goods to have money for trips. How do we get started with registering as nonprofit, filing a 501c3, doing everything legal in my state?



Good for you and the 12 families to help each other homeschool by forming a co-op!

Start by reading through my checklist of steps to form a nonprofit and apply for tax exempt status.

One of your first tasks will be to form a board, the 3-5 people who will lead the group and make major decisions.

My newest webinar Create a Nonprofit for Your Homeschool Community will offer you some great tips to form a board.


Then my book Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out should be a big help.

Finally one of your officers (usually the Treasurer) should read my book The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization. It explains the process to apply for 501c3 tax exempt status.

When you’re ready contact me and we can set up a phone call to see if you’re set up enough to apply for 501c3 tax exempt status!

I’m planning another webinar on applying for 501c3 tax exempt status in June 2019. Sign up for my email list to be notified when it’s going to happen.

Carol Topp, CPA

Helping Homeschool Leaders

Special Needs Children in a Homeschool Co-op

Special needs children can be a challenge for a homeschool group leader. In this episode (14 minutes), Faith Berens, Special Needs Consultant at the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) explains to host Carol Topp how a homeschool co-op can welcome a child with special needs.

In this episode of the HomeschoolCPA podcast, Faith shared:

  • All children want to feel welcomed
  • Tips for accommodating a child with special needs including using intake forms and having a pre-visit time
  • Why asking “How can we support you?” is so helpful to a parent
  • A helpful book to read aloud to children, Just the Way I am: God’s Good Design and Disability
  • A resource for homeschool leaders Homeschooling Children with Special Needs by Sharon Hensley
  • The website has helpful videos and a podcast

HSLDA’s list of resources


Faith Berens can be reached by email at

The next episode (#172) Faith will share some more resources and practical tools for homeschool leaders to help families of children with special needs.


In this episode, Carol mentions:

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!



Inurement: a funny word the IRS doesn’t like!

The IRS uses an unusual word that most of us don’t know the meaning of: inure or inurement. Here’s how the IRS uses it in their definition of a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization:

A section 501(c)(3) organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, such as the creator or the creator’s family, shareholders of the organization, other designated individuals, or persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests. No part of the net earnings of a section 501(c)(3) organization may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. A private shareholder or individual is a person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization. (emphasis added)


What does inurement mean?

“Inurement” means “benefit.”  The IRS forbids a tax exempt organization to use its income or assets to directly or indirectly benefit an individual, a person with a close relationship with the organization or a person who is able to exercise significant control over the organization. These can be board members or donors.

Jeramie Fortenberry an attorney, gives an excellent explanation of inurement in his website article “The Inurement Prohibition & Non-Profit Organizations.”

Non-profit organizations are subject to what is known as the nondistribution constraint.  Simply stated, this means that non-profit organizations cannot distribute profits to those who control it.  The nondistribution constraint is the fundamental distinction between non-profit organizations from for-profit organizations.  (emphasis added)

Any time assets of the organization flow through to benefit the organization’s insiders, whether directly or directly, inurement is an issue.

What are some examples of inurement?

  • A nonprofit executive used the organization’s money to pay his child’s college tuition, lease a luxury car for his wife, have his kitchen remodeled, and rent a vacation house at the beach.
  • The CEO at a tax-exempt hospital used charitable assets to pay for personal items such as liquor, china, crystal, perfume, an airplane, and theater tickets.
  • A nonprofit art gallery exhibits artwork created by its members for a fee but grants board members the same service without cost.
  • The nonprofit organization’s sole activity is conducting seminars and lectures based on the program owned by its president and his for-profit company.
  • An educational organization had four board members who voted themselves free tuition to the program for their children. This benefit ranged from $2,000-$4,000 per board member per academic year.

Sources: and and

What happens if a nonprofit practices inurement?

I would hope inurement would never happen in a homeschool group, by Mr. Fortenbury discusses the IRS’s options against a nonprofit organization.

The inurement restriction is absolute: An organization that violates this prohibition will not qualify (or will cease to qualify) for tax exemption.

In cases involving inurement, the IRS may impose the penalties in lieu of or in addition to the revocation of tax exempt status. 

This system effectively gives the IRS two options to enforce the nondistribution constraint.  In blatant violations of the inurement prohibition, the IRS can both revoke tax exemption and impose monetary penalties under the intermediate sanction regimes. In less severe cases, the IRS may seek to correct the situation through intermediate sanctions alone.

For the full article visit:,


So, please homeschool leaders, stay away from inurement (giving benefits or the assets that belongs to the nonprofit) to any insiders (those who exercise control over the organization).

We’re homeschoolers and we’re better than that.

Carol Topp, CPA

Converting a Business to a Nonprofit: Tax Exempt Status


Some homeschool groups that started as a for-profit business want to convert to a nonprofit organization. Most of these nonprofit organization also want 501c3 tax exempt status from the IRS as well.

In this 3-part podcast series Carol Topp, CPA has explained the basics of a nonprofit organization and how to form a nonprofit corporation. In this third episode Carol discusses 501c3 tax exempt status.

The first two episodes (#168 and 169) can be found at

Show Notes

In this episode, Carol will discuss:

  • The benefits of tax exempt status
  • The application process and Forms 1023-EZ and 1023.
  • Time and cost to apply for 501c3 status
  • A successor to a for-profit entity must use IRS Form 1023 (not the shorter 1023-EZ) to apply for 501c3 status.


Featured Product

This webinar recording on Creating a Nonprofit for Your Homeschool Community will be very helpful as you launch a homeschool group

This webinar recording is helpful for new nonprofits, existing homeschool groups especially if you’re unsure if your group is a nonprofit, or for a business wanting to convert to a nonprofit organization.

The webinar runs about 90 minutes and 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

The cost is only $10!

For more information visit


In the podcast I mentioned my book, The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization.

The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization

Does your homeschool group need to pay taxes? Could they avoid paying taxes by being a 501c3 tax exempt organization? Do you know the pros and cons of 501c3 status? Do you know what 501c3 status could mean for your homeschool group?

I have the answers for you in my book The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization. The information I share in my book has been helpful to homeschool support groups, co-ops, music and sports groups and will help you understand:

  • The benefits of 501c3 status
  • The disadvantages too!
  • What it takes to make the IRS happy
  • What your state requires
  • Why your organization should consider becoming a nonprofit corporation
  • What is the difference between nonprofit incorporation and tax exemption
  • IRS requirements after you are tax exempt




Carol Topp, CPA unavailable May 2-15, 2019

I apologize, but I will be unavailable to receive or reply to emails from May 2-15, 2019.

It would be best to contact me after May 15, 2019.

Thank you!

Carol Topp, CPA

Reimbursement policy for a homeschool group

We discussed during our phone call the need to require receipts from our homeschool program’s teachers before they are reimbursed. I have some board members that are concerned. They are afraid it will be seen as more trouble than it’s worth and that we will have fewer moms volunteer. Their question is whether receipts are necessary.




Reimbursements…yes, the paperwork and receipts are necessary, because if your homeschool organization gives a volunteer a check without getting a receipt from her, it is considered taxable income to the volunteer teacher (under what the IRS calls a “nonaccountable plan”).

But if the volunteer teacher gives you a receipt, then the money your homeschool group pays her is NOT taxable income to her.

Here’s a blog post you should share with your board: No receipts for expenses can get you in trouble!

Your homeschool program should have a reimbursement policy that is an “accountable plan” to avoid your volunteers having to report the reimbursement as income on their tax return.

To be an accountable plan by the IRS, your reimbursement plan must include all three of the following rules:

  1. The expenses must have a business connection; that is, the expenses must have been paid or incurred while performing services as an employee (or volunteer) to your organization.
  2. The volunteer or employee must adequately account for these expenses within a reasonable time (typically within 120 days). Your homeschool organization must require volunteers/employees to give you detailed information on these expenses, including date, time, place, amount, and  purpose for the expense.  Lots of homeschool groups create a reimbursement form. I offer a sample here (it’s an Excel spreadsheet so you can edit it if you like).
  3. You must require the volunteer or employee to return excess reimbursements within a reasonable and specific period of time (usually 60 days). This is applicable if you give money in advance to a volunteer. Giving and advance is not typical in homeschool groups, but a few groups have told me that they give advances to some volunteer teachers.

If all three of these requirements are not met, the plan is determined by the IRS not to be an accountable plan, and any expenses reimbursed to the employee by your homeschool program are taxable to the volunteer!

So now you can see the importance of requesting those receipts (and having an accountable plan)!

Better yet, use my sample reimbursement form (opens an Excel spreadsheet) since it collects all the information required by the IRS to have an accountable plan.

I strongly recommend that your reimbursement policy state that if no receipts are turned in, no reimbursement money will be paid to a volunteer!


My book Money Management in a Homeschool Organization offers tips on reimbursement plan and other aspects of managing the money in a homeschool group.

Carol Topp, CPA