We started as a homeschool group in 1998. I don’t think any bylaws or articles of incorporation were ever filed. So we were just an unincorporated association, as I leaned from reading your books. We are now adding classes to our program and want to move through the process of filing to be tax exempt as a 501c3. We will file Articles of Incorporation to re-form as a nonprofit corporation.
Should I file for a new EIN or just use the current one?
Lisa in California
Lisa’s homeschool group was an unincorporated nonprofit organization that now wants the benefits of limited liability for her members and board that nonprofit incorporation offers.
For years I told small homeschool groups:
“If you decide to incorporate as a nonprofit corporation in your state, then you must get a new Employer Identification Number (EIN) because you have formed a new, legal entity. It’s like a new baby was born and that new baby needs a new Social Security Number.”
But now the IRS lets nonprofit organizations keep their EIN if they are just converting from an unincorporated association to a nonprofit corporation and not changing their “business structure,” meaning you were operating as a nonprofit organization (with a board, bylaws and a nonprofit purpose) and will continue to do so.
To use my baby and Social Security Number analogy: it’s like Lisa’s baby decided to grow up. It looks different now, but it is the same child and can keep its original Social Security Number. Lisa’s homeschool group “grew up,” but is still the same organization. It can convert to a nonprofit corporation and still keep it’s original EIN with the IRS.
The IRS website says:
“You will not be required to obtain a new EIN if any of the following statements are true….
Conversion at the state level (to be a corporation) with business structure remaining unchanged.”
Source: IRS.gov Do you need a new EIN.
So, you don’t need a new EIN if your unincorporated association converts to be a nonprofit corporation! That’s saves a lot of hassle!
But if your homeschool group is a for-profit business, owned by someone, like a Classical Conversations Community owned by the CC Director, then the business structure has changed and you’ll need a new EIN for the new nonprofit corporation.
My book The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization: Tax exempt Status for Homeschool Organizations will be very helpful as you apply for 501c3 tax exempt status.
If you have questions about nonprofit incorporation, 501c3 tax exempt status, or running your homeschool group, contact me.