Is my homeschool a nonprofit?

A leader is confused when her state asks if her homeschool filed for nonprofit tax exempt status.

Every year our county sends out a form to every homeschooler that asks this question, “Have you filed Articles of Incorporation with the office of the Kentucky Secretary of State as a non-profit corporation drafter under KRS 273 or received a letter from the IRS granting you 501c3 status as a non-profit corporation? (Homeschools, by their nature, are considered non-profit.)”

I am confused as to how a homeschool is by nature non-profit and it seems to imply that if we are we should have filed for that status.

Can you point me in the right direction to answer this question?

Gina in KY

From what I understand, KY considers homeschools as private schools.

Brick and mortar private schools are 501c3 nonprofit charities, but individual homeschool families cannot qualify for 501c3 nonprofit status with the IRS. Only groups qualify for 501c3 status with the IRS. A homeschool group may qualify for 501c3 status, but an individual family cannot be a 501c3 nonprofit, even though in KY they are private schools.

It is a bit confusing because of the inconsistent way that the IRS and KY define private schools.

This blog post should be helpful:

I hope that helps.

Carol Topp, CPA

One comment

  1. The state we used to live in (DE) added to the confusion with the designation Non-Public schools; homeschools were under that. The ‘real’ private schools didn’t want us to get any perks they might get.
    The benefit of Non-public status was that there was minimal interference and paperwork versus homeschooling under the superintendent and having everything approved by him/her.

    Our homeschool group did incorporate 1) as a protection in case there was ever and incident on a sponsored field trip or park day, and 2) we could qualify for somethings like Boxtops for Education.

    Thanks for letting us know how the state can vary from the IRS – don’t want to get in trouble with them.

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