Insurance Providers for Homeschool Groups

There have been a lot of homeschool leaders sharing helpful information on insurance for homeschool groups on the I Am a Homeschool Group Leader Facebook group. (Come join us!)

Be aware that insurance is licensed by the states, so many insurance plans are limited to only a few states where they are licensed.

Here are insurance providers in no particular order that other homeschool groups have used and comments from homeschool leaders:

 

We use Erie Insurance. If you are in a state that they service, I can’t recommend them enough. The agent was responsive, answered my endless questions about the policy and the many what if’s I could think of, and they came in significantly cheaper than the NCG quote. The best part was they set us up on the same type of policy that a school would use (they were well aware of the type of co-op we were), so every year they can adjust my coverage based on the number of students.

Mennonite Mutual was least expensive for us.

Brotherhood Mutual. They were more reasonable and better insurance in my opinion. https://www.brotherhoodmutual.com

NCG (National Church Group) sold through HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association) https://ncginsurance.com/home-school-insurance-solutions

There were concerns that NCG did not cover children ages 0-3 years old. As of August 29, 2019, they agreed to extend coverage to children in nursery care (ages 0-3 years) during homeschool group activities effective immediately.

This coverage will be available for an additional premium for nursery exposures within any homeschool co-op, support group, or Classical Conversations community.

The premium charge for this coverage is:Accident Medical – $20 flat charge and General Liability – $100 flat charge

For more info, contact NCG customer service  at homeschoolsupport@ncginsurance.com or at 833-409-8500.

Church Mutual will write policies for nonprofits. One leader said this,” They sent an agent to our building and she sat with me for two hours to understand our programs and needs. She made certain they cover what we need and do. AND, it was less than HALF the quote I got from Brotherhood! Its a really good rate in our opinion.”

I received a quote from Pro Insurance Managers for less than $300. It is event only general liability for the days we meet to do our program (18x/year). For us, a group just starting out, would this be a good choice? PRO Insurance Managers 1-877-CALL-PRO

Church Insurance Specialists, Inc. (in WV, OH, or PA). Contact Ron Shirey at 814-618-5532. You must have a board of directors, you may be an unincorporated association or an incorporated nonprofit, and you must have a religious purpose.

The policy will include general liability, a minimum of $1,000 personal property, sexual misconduct & abuse, accident medical, daycare exposure(for 3 & under), and directors & officers. He said the average quote is $2,000. Churches can be named as additional insured to cover their property.

Have employees? They can also quote you a worker’s comp policy and they offer a payroll service. For more information about their payroll service call 1-866-215-5540 and leave a message in the sales department.

 


Jamie Buckland, Classical Program Consultant gave an excellent webinar on insurance and a summary of questions you should ask your insurance provider when shopping for a policy.

Homeschool Risk 101: Understanding It & Transferring It

I attended the webinar and learned a ton! Very worth the low cost of $12.


Carol Topp, CPA

Helping Homeschool Leaders

Homeschool groups and fundraisers. Do you know what your state requires?

Michelle asked a question about fund raisers in a homeschool group:

Hi Carol,
We have had fund raisers in the past (Butterbraids, a frozen pastry) and have made approx. $1,500 doing that fund raiser. We had a cooking class that prepared hot lunches and the co-op made money on those. We will have less than $100 left in the check book. We have a Fed ID #. What do we do? What about next year? Is fund raising not a good idea for us as you say in your website? We thought about charging more for membership (we charge $35/ yr now) and if people wanted to do individual fund raisers that would be up to each family. What do you think? Thank you so much for your help to the homeschool community and for whatever answers you can give us.
Sincerely,
Michelle P

Dear Michelle,

Did I say fund raising is not a good idea? I didn’t mean to. Hopefully, I just warned groups that fund raising can be a lot of work.

Charitable Solicitation filings 
If you hold fundraisers by selling products to the public (outside your own membership) you may need to report your “solicitation” to your state, typically the Attorney General’s office.

In my home state of Ohio, nonprofits have to file a Charity Registration form if they do fund raising to the public. One year my homeschool co-op sold candles door to door and had to file a seven-page financial report with Ohio’s Attorney General Office. That report was such a nuisance (and the fund raiser was so much work) that the co-op no longer does sales to the public.

Investigate what your state requires from groups doing fund raisers. These websites have information on nonprofit reporting requirements by state:

https://www.hurwitasociates.com/

https://www.harborcompliance.com/fundraising-registration

In general I encourage groups to get most of their income from membership fees and not depend too much on fund raising. Fund raising can be very successful or turn out very poorly. It is also a lot of work with sometimes only a few people doing all the work.

Individual fundraisers

I’m not sure what you mean by “individual fund raisers.” I do know that it is not proper to “award” a family for raising more money than another family, nor is it proper to set up individual accounts. It’s not right because it is not in keeping with the nonprofit motive or with the idea of a group benefit. In short, individuals are not supposed to benefit; the group is supposed to benefit.

 

My book Money Management in a Homeschool Organization covers fundraising and offers some ideas for easy fundraisers.

 

Are you up to date on your state filing requirements for your homeschool nonprofit organization? Do you even know that your state may require annual reports?

Most states require some reporting from nonprofit organizations on an annual basis. My webinar on IRS and State Filings for Homeschool Nonprofits will explain the state reports and help you research your state’s requirements.

 

 

Carol Topp, CPA

HomeschoolCPA.com

Tiny Homeschool Groups: Do We Need a Bank Account?

Tiny Homeschool Groups: Do We Need a Bank Account?

Tiny homeschool groups have different challenges than large programs. They are limited on resources, volunteers, and activities. But they still have questions about legal status, money and taxes that the large homeschool organizations have.

In this 4-part podcast series, Carol Topp, CPA answers the common questions that tiny homeschool groups face. All podcasts are available at HomeschoolCPA.com/Podcast

  • Episode #175 Are We a Nonprofit?
  • Episode #176 Do We Need to File Anything?
  • Episode #177 Do We Need to Pay Taxes?
  • Episode #178 Do We Need a Bank Account?

In this episode Carol Topp will explain when a tiny homeschool group might need to open a checking account.

  • The pros and cons of operating in cash and without a checking account
  • Warning against using a personal checking account
  • Steps to take before opening a checking account

Join the Facebook group for homeschool leaders: I am a Homeschool Group Leader. 600+ homeschool leaders offer ideas, encouragement and respectful exchange of ideas. https://www.facebook.com/groups/72534255742/

 

Featured Product

Money Management in a Homeschool Organization

  • Does your homeschool group manage their money well?
  • Do you have a budget and know where the money is spent?
  • Do you know how to prevent fraud?

This 115 page book will help you to open a checking account, establish a budget, prevent mistakes and fraud, use software to keep the books, prepare a financial statement and hire workers. Sample forms and examples of financial statements in clear English are provided.

Click here for more information

 

Tiny Homeschool Groups: Do We Need to Pay Taxes?

Tiny Homeschool Groups: Do We Need to Pay Taxes?

Tiny homeschool groups have different challenges than large programs. They are limited on resources, volunteers, and activities. But they still have questions about legal status, money and taxes that the large homeschool organizations have.

In this 4-part podcast series, Carol Topp, CPA answers the common questions that tiny homeschool groups face. All podcasts are available at HomeschoolCPA.com/Podcast

  • Episode #175 Are We a Nonprofit?
  • Episode #176 Do We Need to File Anything?
  • Episode #177 Do We Need to Pay Taxes?
  • Episode #178 Do We Need a Bank Account?

In this episode Carol Topp will explain taxes for tiny homeschool groups:

  • How a tiny homeschool group can be tax exempt without applying.
  • How tiny groups can self-declare tax exempt status with the IRS.
  • State income tax exemption.
  • The IRS annual report Form 990-N.
  • Sales tax for small nonprofit organizations.

 

Join the Facebook group for homeschool leaders: I am a Homeschool Group Leader. 1,000+ homeschool leaders offer ideas, encouragement and respectful exchange of ideas. https://www.facebook.com/groups/72534255742/

 

Featured Product

The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization

Does your homeschool group need to pay taxes? Could they avoid paying taxes by being a 501c3 tax exempt organization? Do you know the pros and cons of 501c3 status? Do you know what 501c3 status could mean for your homeschool group?

I have the answers for you in my book The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization. The information I share in my book has been helpful to homeschool support groups, co-ops, music and sports groups and will help you understand:

  • The benefits of 501c3 status
  • The disadvantages too!
  • What it takes to make the IRS happy
  • What your state requires
  • Why your organization should consider becoming a nonprofit corporation
  • What is the difference between nonprofit incorporation and tax exemption
  • IRS requirements after you are tax exempt

 

 

 

Webinar: IRS and State Filings for Homeschool Groups

Getting 501c3 tax exempt status is a great accomplishment! If you’ve done that, congratulations!

But don’t think you are done with government forms just yet! Your state and the IRS have several reports that must be filed regularly to maintain your precious tax exempt stats.

Carol Topp, CPA the HomeschoolCPA has helped over 100 homeschool organizations apply for tax exempt status. She has prepared a webinar on IRS and State Filings for Homeschool Nonprofits. Carol explains the IRS annual reports for tax exempt nonprofits and how you can know what your state requires.

You will learn:

  • The importance of maintaining 501c3 tax exempt status
  • The IRS Form 990 series. What form your group needs to file.
  • How to know if you’ve missed filing IRS returns
  • How to see Form 990-EZs and 990s from other nonprofits.
  • An explanation of the IRS Form 990-N.
  • What filings may be required by your state with examples

After the webinar you will be equipped to file on your own the IRS Form 990-N and state forms saving you hundreds of dollars in professional fees.

 


This webinar is the third in a series of 3 webinar to teach homeschool nonprofit leaders how to create a nonprofit, get and maintain tax exempt status. The other two webinars are:

I highly recommend you watch the first two webinars on Create a Nonprofit for Your Homeschool Community and 501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits. They are both a precursor to this webinar and tells you what to do to create a nonprofit and apply for 501c3 tax exempt status.


 

This third webinar on IRS and State Filings is for Homeschool Nonprofits if for groups that have received (or applied for) for tax exempt status with the IRS and:

  • Are unsure about IRS annual returns
  • Don’t know what forms their state requires from nonprofit organizations
  • Do fundraisers or ask for donations
  • Received a letter from the IRS or their state about missed reports
  • Need to know what to do to maintain their tax exempt status
  • Want to know what it takes to run a compliant nonprofit organization
  • People who want to DIY the IRS and state flings but need an experienced expert to teach them how.

The webinar will last approximately one hour.

The cost is only $10 and you will receive:

  • A recording of the webinar
  • Handout of the slides
  • IRS Users Guide for Form 990-N
  • Blank IRS Form 990-EZ and Instructions
  • Template to summarize your state and IRS filing requirements

 

Carol Topp, CPA
HomeschoolCPA.com
Helping Homeschool Leaders maintain tax exempt status.

Tiny Homeschool Groups: Do We Need to File Anything?

Tiny Homeschool Groups: Do We Need to File Anything?

Tiny homeschool groups have different challenges than large programs. They are limited on resources, volunteers, and activities. But they still have questions about legal status, money and taxes that the large homeschool organizations have.

In this 4-part podcast series, Carol Topp, CPA answers the common questions that tiny homeschool groups face. All podcasts are available at HomeschoolCPA.com/Podcast

  • Episode #175 Are We a Nonprofit?
  • Episode #176 Do We Need to File Anything?
  • Episode #177 Do We Need to Pay Taxes?
  • Episode #178 Do We Need a Bank Account?

In this episode of the HomeschoolCPA podcast, Carol Topp discusses:

  • Bylaws do not typically need to be filed anywhere. They are an internal document. Sample bylaws for a homeschool group
  • Articles of Association (if you remain an unincorporated association) or Articles of Incorporation (if you formed a nonprofit corporation in your state). Samples available here
  • Charitable solicitation registration if you solicit donations or hold fund raisers in your state. Get information on your state’s filing requirements from https://www.harborcompliance.com/information/nonprofit-compliance-guide
  • Business licenses for nonprofits (only 6 states require a business license)
  • Employer Identification Number. Helpful tips.

 

Join the Facebook group for homeschool leaders: I am a Homeschool Group Leader. 600+ homeschool leaders offer ideas, encouragement and respectful exchange of ideas. https://www.facebook.com/groups/72534255742/

 

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Homeschool Co-ops:
How to Start Them, Run Them and not Burn Out

Have you ever thought about starting a homeschool co-op? Are you afraid it will be too much work? Do you think you’ll have to do it all by yourself? Starting a homeschool co-op can be easy! This book Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out will give you ideas, inspiration, tips, wisdom and the tools you need to start a homeschool co-op, run it and not burn out!

Click Here to request more information!

 

Is your homeschool group “just a bunch of moms”?

I’ve heard this too many times from homeschool group leaders to ignore it any longer.

“We’re just a bunch of homeschool moms”

It’s usually used along with one of these sentences,

…therefore we don’t want to (or need to) ...

  • be formally structured
  • follow the law
  • pay taxes
  • apply for tax exempt status
  • pay our workers as employees (according to the law)
  • record our income or expenses
  • notify our church host of the for-profit nature of our group, etc…

I’ve heard or read just about every one of these excuses!

Does saying “we’re just a bunch of homeschool moms” imply that:

  • homeschool moms are incapable of running legitimate businesses or nonprofit organizations?
  • homeschool moms can’t understand legal and tax issues?
  • homeschool moms are claiming ignorance as a defense against obeying the law?

Homeschool moms are intelligent, capable women. I know of hundreds of homeschool moms running businesses and nonprofit organizations very successfully and legally. I know some that are accountants and lawyers or, in the true spirit of homeschooling, are self-educated to understand complex tax and legal situations.

So let’s not imply that homeschool moms are not capable or not intelligent by saying “we’re just a bunch of homeschool moms”!

Instead, we should do what we do at home with our children:

Get educated about the legal and financial aspects of running a homeschool organization.

I have resources to help:

 

Carol Topp, CPA

Helping Homeschool Leaders who are smart and capable!

 

How to self declare tax exempt status

In my webinars on Creating a Nonprofit for a Homeschool Community and 501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits, I briefly mentioned that some homeschool groups can self declare tax exempt status.

I didn’t go into detail of HOW to self declare this tax exempt status. This blog post explains the HOW.

Background:

Organizations that are eligible to self declare 501 tax exempt status do not have to apply for tax exempt status with the IRS. So no Form 1023/1023-EZ or 1024 needs to be filed! This saves you time and money! Hooray.

But self-declared tax exempt organizations must still maintain that tax exempt status by filing an annual report with the IRS. This annual filing is Form 990/990-EZ or 990-N.

 

If you are a 501c7 social club:

This status is common for homeschool support groups that focus on social activities and clubs rather than on educational activities

Self declare tax exempt status

Since you have not applied for 501(c)(7) status  (you can “self declare” 501(c)(7) status and don’t have to file the paperwork), you are not in the IRS database (yet) so you will not be able to file the 990-Ns. You will need to call the IRS Customer Account Services at 1-877-829-5500 and be added to their Exempt Organization database so you can begin filing the Form 990-Ns.

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 501(c)(7) Social Club and we needed to get added to the IRS exempt organization database so we can start filing our 990-Ns.”

 


If you are a 501c3 Educational Organization

This status is common for tiny homeschool groups including co-ops, tutorials, youth sports, music and arts organizations that focus on educational activities.

Your organization’s total gross revenues must be less than $5,000 per year to be eligible to self declare 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.* 501(c)(7) social clubs mentioned above do not have that $5,000/year limitation. They can have gross revenues of more than $5,000/year and still self-declare tax exempt status.

Read about the difference between 501(c)(7) Social clubs and 501c3 organizations.

Since you have not applied for 501(c)(3) status, you are not in the IRS database (yet) so you will not be able to file the 990-Ns. You will need to call the IRS Customer Account Services at 1-877-829-5500 and be added to their Exempt Organization database so you can begin filing the Form 990-Ns.

Tips when calling the IRS

Say this: “We’re a small 501(c)(3) educational organization with revenues of less than $5,000 per year. We understand we can self-declare our 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. We’d like to get added to the IRS exempt organization database so we can start filing our 990-Ns.”

 

*Note that only 501(c)(3) organizations with less than $5,000 annual gross revenues can “self-declare” their tax exempt status. 501(c)(3) s with more than $5,000/year in revenues must apply for501(c)(3) status using Form 1023 or the new, shorter Form 1023-EZ.


For both  501c7 Social Clubs and 501c3 Educational Organizations

During your call with the IRS, they will ask for your EIN and organization’s name, address, and probably a contact name. Have all that ready before you call.

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. You get to pick it!

They may ask if you have “organizing documents.” They mean bylaws, 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.

Call the IRS early in the morning. They open at 8 am local time 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. If your fiscal year ends June 30, the From 990-N is due November 15 every year. File it at IRS.gov/990n

 

Have more questions about your homeschool organization’s tax exempt status? My book, The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization would be a big help.

 

 

 

 

If your 501(c)(3) educational organization grows and has more than $5,000 in revenues per year, it’s time to officially apply for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

This webinar 501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits will explain how to do that.

 

Carol Topp, CPA

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Military Homeschool Families: An Asset to Your Group

A military family can be an asset to your homeschool group. Find out how from homeschool leader Melissa Robb and School Liaison Officer at Newport, RI Naval Base, Pamela Martin. These two ladies have a heart for helping homeschool military families and you’ll learn the benefits of inviting them into your group.

 

 

Create a Nonprofit Organization for Your Homeschool Community

A pre-recorded webinar for homeschool groups that covers:

  • The difference between a business and a nonprofit
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a nonprofit
  • Forming a board: who can be one it, what do they do, etc.
  • Creating bylaws
  • Drafting a budget
  • Setting up a bank account
  • Forming a nonprofit corporation in your state
  • The timeline to get this all done
  • The expense to accomplish this

For more information visit Homeschoolcpa.com/CreateNP

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Apply for 501c3 Tax Exempt status on your own (this webinar will show you how!)

 

I’ve helped over 90 small nonprofit organizations apply for 501c3 status using IRS Form 1023-EZ.None have ever been denied by the IRS.

Would you like to know what I know?

I share my experience, tips, and even a few secrets that I only share with my clients in a webinar

501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits 

This webinar is for:

  • People who want to DIY (Do It Yourself) in applying for 501c3 tax exempt status but need an experienced expert to teach them how.
  • New homeschool groups formed as nonprofit organizations that want tax exempt status
  • Homeschool groups that have been around a while but never applied for 501c3 tax exempt status
  • A homeschool business that wants to convert to be a nonprofit and get tax exempt status
  • Homeschool leaders who have heard about tax exempt status, but don’t understand the steps to take.

You will learn:

  • The difference between nonprofit and tax exempt status. They are not the same thing!
  • The pros and cons of tax exempt status
  • How you could avoid applying at all, yet still get all the advantages of 501c3 status
  • What is needed before applying for tax exempt status
  • The cost and steps to take
  • An explanation of the IRS Form 1023-EZ line-by-line. This will be the crux of the webinar and will help you prepare your own 501c3 application!
  • Tips on filing the IRS Form 1023-EZ from Carol’s experience of filing over 90 applications!

After the webinar you will be equipped to file on your own the IRS Form 1023-EZ, saving you hundreds of dollars for professional help.

The cost is $25. 

What  you get for $25:

  • Webinar recording. The webinar lasts approximately 1.75 hours.
  • Handout of webinar slides
  • ebook The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization by Carol Topp, CPA
  • Sample Form 1023-EZ for your reference
  • BONUS: If you feel you need additional assistance, we can arrange a phone consultation. I will discount my hourly rate from $85 to $60/hour, so this webinar pays for itself!

This is the second part of a 3-part webinar series

The first webinar Create A Nonprofit for Your Homeschool Community is available now. I highly recommended to watch this webinar first, if you haven’t done so already!

The final webinar IRS and State Filings for Homeschool Nonprofits will air in August 2019.

 


 

Carol Topp, CPA

HomeschoolCPA.com