I’m treasurer for a nonprofit homeschool group. Every year some of the teachers charge a lab fee and it all gets spent on lab equipment. Do we have to claim that as income or is it just a wash because it’s used for materials or experiments?
Dear Homeschool Treasurer,
You should claim/record the lab fees collected in full as income to your group.
Then also record the lab or equipment expenses to clearly reflect both the income and the expense.
If you don’t record the income, because it is a “wash” (meaning the same as the expenses, so no effect on your profit or surplus), then you are guilty of both under-reporting income and under-reporting expenses.
Your board will not have an accurate picture of all the income and all the expenses.
And you’ll be lying to the IRS! This is obviously more serious if your homeschool group is a for-profit business.
I warn against mixing income and expenses in your bookkeeping in my book Money Management in a Homeschool Organization.
Please take a few minutes and record all your income and all your expenses.
Carol Topp, CPA
Helping Homeschool Leaders