In a previous blog post I explained that the the IRS was going to deny 501c3 tax exempt status to a homeschool group, Sursum Corda in Southern California. The IRS employee claimed that this group of 35 families is only serving themselves and not serving a “public interest.”
I am happy to announce that after several weeks, the homeschool group received a letter stating that the IRS has determined they are tax exempt under 501c3 of the IRS Code! Yeah!
Victory for them and for all homeschool groups.
What helped convince the IRS that this homeschool group served a public interest?
In my 5 page fax to the IRS I outlined several key points:
- Sursum Corda Community serves a public interest with activities that serve any and all homeschool families in three large counties, it primarily benefits children, a “charitable class,” and Sursum Corda serves the community at large in two ways: service projects and community-wide educational events (I think their service to the broader community was a very important factor with the IRS)
- Sursum Corda is not exclusive; there is no significant private benefit; there is no inurement
- Rev Ruling 69-175 is not applicable to Sursum Corda because they are not seeking 501(c)(3) status for parents’ personal expenses; Sursum Corda’s expenses are for the organization’s activities, not for the parents’ personal homeschool expenses.
- Other cases of 501c3 status denied to charter schools is not applicable to Sursum Corda
- Hundreds of homeschool organizations have 501c3 status
I concluded with this:
Sursum Corda Community, Inc. has an exempt purpose that serves a public interest, the education of children and parents and service to the larger community, and does not give significant private benefit to individuals. It is eligible for 501(c)(3) status and we look forward to the IRS determination letter.Letter to IRS by Carol Topp, CPA
It’s hard to say what points changed the IRS’s mind, but I am grateful that HomeschoolCPA made a successful argument on behalf of Sursum Corda and all homeschool groups!
A special thanks to several nonprofit experts and several attorneys with Christian Home Educators Assoc of California (CHEA) and Home School Legal Defense Assoc (HSLDA) for their time in reviewing my response to the IRS. I greatly appreciate it!
HomeschoolCPA has two resources to help your homeschool organization apply for 501c3 tax exempt status
The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization book and the 501c3 Application webinar.