Homeschool support groups can self-declare tax exempt status

A homeschool leader asks how to find information on self declaring a homeschool support group as tax exempt.

I am the new treasurer of a homeschool support group. We have about 100 members (dues are $30). Last year our board reviewed our status with reference to your website and decided 501(c)(7) fit us best. You say that you can self declare 501(c)(7) status. On the IRS website I found an application (Form 1024) and I could find no reference to self declaration. Can you point me to some documentation that shows we are allowed to self declare? I am just trying to make sure everything is in order.

Roy Z

Roy is referring to an article I wrote about homeschool support groups being tax exempt with the IRS without having to file the IRS application (Form 1024):

Are support groups automatically tax exempt?


I could not find any information on “self proclaiming” 501(c)(7) status on the IRS website either. I attended an on-line webinar on February 24, 2011 hosted by the IRS called “Starting Off Right: What New Non-501c (3) Organizations Need to Know.”

I asked this question, “I’ve heard that organizations such as the ones you are discussing today – 501(c) 4s, 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s, and 10s – are not actually required to complete and submit Form 1024, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(a). In other words, an organization that believes it qualifies for exemption under one of these subsections can simply say it does and start to operate. Is that true?”

The IRS’s reply was :

It is true the Tax Reform Act of 1969 requirement to “give notice,” (to apply for recognition of tax-exempt status) applies only to organizations wanting section 501(c)(3) status.

So, although other types of organizations are not required to file Form 1024, they may still wish to do so in order to receive a determination letter of IRS recognition of their status. Having the determination letter ensures public recognition of their status and may enable exemption from some state taxes.

Also, even though an organization may “self-proclaim” its tax-exempt status, it is still subject to the rules governing its particular sub-section. It is also subject to IRS examination to determine whether it meets the requirements for the exemption it is claiming.

If you do choose to self declare 501c7 tax exempt status as a social or recreational club, your group mu still file a 990-N every year to maintain its tax exempt status.

See this blog post for tips on how to call the IRS and be added to their exempt organization list so you can file the required annual Form 990-N.

I hope that helps!

Carol Topp, CPA

One comment

Leave a Reply