We’re a newly organized homeschool support group. Is there anything we need to do with the IRS to establish ourselves as a 501c7 social club, or do we just need to get our EIN and start filing the 990N?
Thanks again! I really appreciate your help. 🙂
After you get your EIN (Employer Identification Number), you won’t be able to file the 990-Ns just yet.
Self declare tax exempt status
Since you have not applied on paper for 501(c)(7) status (you can “self declare” 501c7 status and don’t have to file the paperwork), you are not in the IRS database (yet), so you need to call the IRS Customer Account Services at 1-877-829-5500 and be added to their database so you can begin filing the Form 990Ns.
It typically takes 6 weeks after you call to be added to the IRS database.
Tips when calling the IRS
Say something like this,
“We’re a brand new 501c7 Social Club and my CPA said I needed to get added to the IRS exempt organization database, so we could start filing the 990-Ns.”
If you’re a homeschool educational program (co-op, etc)
Or if your homeschool group has an educational purpose, you’re most likely a 501c3 tax exempt organization. Read about the difference between 501c7 Social clubs and 501c3 organizations. In that case, you’ll say:
“We’re a brand new 501c3 educational organization and my CPA said I needed to get added to the IRS exempt organization database so we could start filing our 990-Ns.”
**Note that only 501c3 organizations with less than $5,000 annual gross revenues can “self-declare” their tax exempt status. 501c3s with more than $5,000/year in revenues must apply for 501c3 status using Form 1023 or the new, shorter Form 1023-EZ.
They will ask for your EIN and organization’s name, address, and probably a contact name.
They may also ask what date your fiscal year ends. Many support groups operate on a calendar year, but some operate on a school year with a year end of June 30 or July 31. Look at the form you filed when you applied for your EIN to see what you chose as your fiscal year end.
They may ask if you have “organizing documents.” They mean bylaws or Articles of Association (or Articles of Incorporation). So tell them if you have bylaws or Articles of Association/Articles of Incorporation. Samples can be found here.
Finally, if they tell you you must file a Form 1024 to obtain 501(c)(7) tax exempt status, tell them (with confidence) your CPA informed you that you can “self declare” tax exempt status as a social club and do not have to file the Form 1024.
Call the IRS early in the morning. They open at 8 am ET and you can usually get through pretty quickly of you call then, Record the date you call, the IRS employee name and their identification number.
Don’t forget to the the 990-N every year!
Be sure you go online to file the Form 990-N anytime after your fiscal year ends and before its due date which is 4 1/2 months after the end of your fiscal year. So if you operate on a calendar year, the 990-N is due May 15.
Have more questions about your homeschool organization’s tax exempt status? My book, The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization would be a big help.
Carol Topp, CPA