From my understanding, you can’t use Google checkout for donations unless we are a 501(c)(3)
I do think you can use PayPal for donations, even if we aren’t a 501(c)(3). It’s taxable but considered a gift. Do I understand this correctly?
You are correct that only donations to a 501(c)(3) organizations are tax exempt.
I read the links you provided and Google only allows 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) (Business leagues with a 501c3 charitable fund) organizations to accept donations.
Paypal is much less restrictive (but the IRS determines which donations are tax deductible, not Paypal!)
If your organization’s website accepts donations and is not a 501c3, then the income is fully taxable.
FWIW, here’s a chart explaining the various 501c types and when tax deductible donations are allowed by the IRS: https://www.guidestar.org/help/501c_orgs.jsp
How can your homeschool group become a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization? Start by reading these articles:
501c3 tax exempt status
- When to become a 501c3?
- Do we need 501c3 status?
- Are you ready for 501c3 Application?
- A checklist for organizations desiring 501c3 status
Carol Topp, CPA