HomeschoolCPA received two emails from homeschool leaders in MD and CA with a surprisingly similar situations.
In both groups, a small number of homeschooling families were joining together to hire a single teacher to teach their children once or twice a week. Both groups were very small, only seven families total, but they were paying each instructor quite a bit of money-$11,000 annually in one case and $17,000 in the other. This meant that they exceeded the IRS threshold of $5,000 annual gross revenue and needed to consider filing for 501c3 tax exempt status.
They had several concerns such as a contract with the teacher, how should the teacher be paid, and could the group qualify for 501c3 tax exempt status as an educational organization?
There are several options for homeschool organizations who are trying to decide how to structure themselves. I advised the leader from CA to read this article:
I discussed the concerns and options with the leader from MD. I explained that I doubted the IRS would grant 501c3 “qualified charity” status to a group with only seven families. An IRS qualified charity is supposed to serve a public good, not the needs of only seven families.
Instead of pursuing 501c3 tax exempt status, we discussed that the hired teacher is really running a for-profit business (a sole proprietorship) with seven families as her customers. I shared with her several sample contractor agreements the teacher could use in her business.
Money Management in a Homeschool Organization explains how to create a budget, monitor it, and inform your board of the financial health of your organization with clear, easy-to-understand financial reports. Specifically written for treasurers of homeschool organizations.
There is a sample contractor agreement available in my book Paying Workers in a Homeschool Organization.
Paying Workers in a Homeschool Organization covers paying workers as employees or independent contractors. There are also chapters on paying volunteers and board members. It includes sample forms, tips and advice to help you pay workers in accordance with the IRS laws to help your organization pay their workers correctly. Written specifically for homeschool organizations.
Carol Topp, CPA