How the IRS sees homeschool groups (podcast)

IRS and homeschool groups

UPDATE: This podcast episode originally aired in 2015. But it is still accurate and helpful in 2021, 6 years later!

In this episode of the Dollars and Sense Show podcast, host Carol Topp continues her topic “Who’s Afraid of the IRS?” and discusses how the IRS sees homeschool co-ops, nonprofit incorporation, for-profit homeschool groups, and what happen when a nonporift loses its 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

Listen to the podcast

Listen to the first part of this presentation where Carol discussed homeschool support groups as IRS 501(c)(7) Social Clubs and co-ops as 501c3 Educational organizations.

Get a copy of the handout.

More information

Carol mentioned the article “Do You Know About IRS Required Filings for Homeschool Organizations?” Get it here.

Carol’s book, The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization, is available here.

The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization

Carol Topp, CPA

HomeschoolCPA.com

Helping Homeschool Leaders

Who’s Afraid of the IRS? (podcast)

IRS and homeschool


UPDATE: This podcast episode originally aired in 2015. I am amazed at how accurate it still is 6 years later!


Are you afraid of the IRS? Should you be?

How does the IRS see homeschool organizations?

In this episode of the Dollars and Sense podcast, host Carol Topp, CPA discusses how the IRS sees homeschool organizations. Carol discusses homeschool support groups as IRS 501(c)(7) Social Clubs and homeschool co-ops as 501(c)(3) educational organizations.

Listen to the podcast here

Get a copy of the handout Who’s Afraid of the IRS Handout

More information

The second part of this podcast presentation, “How the IRS sees homeschool groups”

Carol mentioned the article “Do You Know About IRS Required Filings for Homeschool Organizations?” Get it here.

Carol’s book, The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization.

The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization

Carol Topp, CPA

HomeschoolCPA.com

Helping Homeschool Leaders

Does my homeschool group have to be tax exempt?

Does my homeschool groups have to be tax exempt? It seems like a lot of work, cost and government intervention.

Many of our members and the board members don’t want to be a 501c3. Do we have to be? We just want to keep things simple.

-Homeschool leader

Dear homeschool leader,

No, your homeschool group doesn’t have to be tax exempt, but then it will owe taxes on any surplus it has each year. I understand the desire to keep things simple, but, trust me, filing a corporate tax return (Form 1120) tax return is NOT simple!

It’s also not as much work to apply for 501c3 tax exempt status you you are fearing, especially of your organization is small (revenues less than $50,000/year) and is eligible to file the shorter IRS Form 1023-EZ.

Here’s an explanation from my webinar on 501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits


This webinar (90 minutes total length) will explain the benefits of tax exempt status, the application process and walk you through the application Form 1023-EZ line-by-line. At the end of the webinar you’ll be equipped to apply for tax exempt status by yourself.

Get more information on the webinar 501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits

Carol Topp, CPA

HomeschoolCPA.com

Helping Homeschool Leaders

Can a homeschool group be charitable? Maybe not!

I love knowing that  most homeschool groups are generous, especially toward families in financial need. They deliver meals, take up collections, and waive fees for a needy family.

But should a homeschool group serve as a charity?

Maybe, but maybe not.

Here’s a true story..

A homeschool group was given $5,000 with the specific purpose of gifting to members in the group that were experiencing difficult financial times.  They told me, “Our instructions from the donor was to gift it to members that were going through difficult financial times due to unemployment or illness.”

It was very nice of the donor and the organization to have a concern for the afflicted families in their program.

But this homeschool group has 501(c)(3) status as a religious and educational organization. There is no mention of “charitable” purpose in their founding documents (their Articles of Incorporation), or in their tax exempt application with the IRS.

Basically, they were not given tax exempt status to be collecting and distributing funds to needy people (i.e. charity).

Here’s part of what I wrote to them:

In general, your homeschool organization should not serve as a charitable conduit for someone to make a gift to a needy family (or families). The reason is because your 501(c)(3) status was for educational purposes, not charitable to help needy families with financial needs. Additionally, the donor used your homeschool organization to get a tax deductible donation, when he or she should have given the money as a gift (i.e. not tax deductible) to the needy families.

If you told me that you used the $5,000 to start a benevolent fund and reduced the tuition for several families, I’d say the IRS may approve that use of the money. Your homeschool organization is not a “charity” and should not be used to funnel money to a needy family, nor should you let your 501(c)(3) status be used to give a donor a tax deduction for what is a gift to an individual(s).

You were given tax exempt status for specific purposes. Stick to the purposes you told the IRS: educational and religious.

Now, I’m a religious person (a Christian, to be exact), so to me being generous and helping the needy is related my religious beliefs and this homeschool group may argue the same. But they should have been more clear in their explanation to the IRS and their organizing documents.

My advice to them is to:

  1. Not accept donations that are ear marked for helping the financial needs of a family. Direct the donor to other charitable organizations.
  2. Not give cash or checks to a needy family, but instead offer tuition discounts on their program to keep in line with their educational purposes.
  3. Not let your homeschool organization be used as a conduit for financial transactions that are outside of your exempt purpose.

All homeschool leaders should pull out their founding documents (their Articles of Incorporation and bylaws) and their tax exempt application with the IRS (Form 1023 or 1023-EZ) to refresh their memory on their organization’s stated purpose.

Then stick to that purpose.

The Homeschool Organization Board Manual will help you keep your important documents  in a binder for easy access.

Your board may wish to create a donation acceptance policy and include the 3 points above.

Carol Topp, CPA
HomeschoolCPA.com

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Does bank account need to be less than $5,000 to be self declared tax exempt?

We are a small group (43 families) starting a non-profit. We have used several of your free and purchased resources. Thank you for your work in this space.

Question…does the opening balance of the bank account need to be less than $5,000 to remain self declared?

We will be receiving about $5,000 from a now defunct homeschool group to help us start off.

Our annual income won’t exceeded $5,000, so we plan to self-declare our 501c3 tax exempt status. Will the account balance of over $5,000 be considered income of over $5,000?

Thank you in advance for any information you may provide.

 

 

Thank you for contacting me.  I’m glad my resources have been helpful.

You asked, “..does the opening balance of the bank account need to be less than $5,000 to remain self declared?
No. The IRS only looks at the annual gross revenues, not bank balances.

If the original groups wants to gift the new organization $5,000, that would be income (a donation) in the year it is received.  So that large donation could mean the new group has over $5,000 in gross revenues in that year.

But the IRS guidance* for self declaring 501c3 tax exempt status says:
normally not more than $5,000.”

A one time large gift would not be “normal,” so the organization could still self-declare 501c3 tax exempt status if your normal gross revenues are under $5,000/year. 🙂

I hope that helps!

* Source: Instructions for Form 1023 page 1 “Form 1023 not necessary.”

Carol Topp, CPA

HomeschoolCPA.com

Helping Homeschool Leaders

Still time to join the IRS and State Filings for Homeschool Nonprofits webinar

Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA, will help you understand the IRS and state reports and file them yourself! In her webinar IRS and State Filings for Homeschool Nonprofits, Carol will explain the IRS annual returns and how to determine what your state may require as well.

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

The webinar was live in August 2019 but you an purchase the recording for $10.

The webinar will last approximately one hour. There will be time for your questions. It will be recorded for viewing later.

The cost is $10 and you will receive:

  • Access to the live webinar on Wednesday August 21, 2019
  • An opportunity to ask questions via the live chat room
  • Handout of the slides
  • Recording to the webinar
  • IRS Forms, Instructions and samples
  • Template to summarize your state and IRS filing requirements for your board

Carol Topp, CPA

HomeschoolCPA.com

What do you do after your homeschool group has tax exempt status?

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

But you’re not finished with government forms just yet! Your state and the IRS have several reports that must be filed regularly to maintain that precious tax exempt stats.

Almost every homeschool group will have some reporting with the IRS and their state.

Carol Topp, the Homeschool CPA, will help you understand the IRS and state reports and file them yourself! In her webinar IRS and State Filings for Homeschool Nonprofits, Carol will explain the IRS annual returns and how to determine what your state may require as well.

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

The live webinar will be on Wednesday August 21, 2019 at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT/6 pm MT/5 pm PT

The webinar will last approximately one hour. There will be time for your questions. It will be recorded for viewing later.

The cost is $10 and you will receive:

  • Access to the live webinar on Wednesday August 21, 2019
  • An opportunity to ask questions via the live chat room
  • Handout of the slides
  • Recording to the webinar
  • IRS Forms, Instructions and samples
  • Template to summarize your state and IRS filing requirements for your board

 

More information at HomeschoolCPA.com/Filings

 

Carol Topp, CPA

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

 

 

 

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

Webinar: 501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits

Have you heard that applying for 501c3 tax exempt status is difficult, time consuming and expensive? Well, it can be, so Carol Topp, CPA the HomeschoolCPA wants to make applying for 501c3 tax exempt status a lot easier for you!

So easy, you can do it yourself!

In this webinar 501c3 Application for Homeschool Nonprofits Carol shares her tips and secrets to apply for 501c3 tax exempt status with the IRS.

You will learn:

  • The difference between nonprofit and tax exempt status. They are not the same thing!
  • The different types of 501c organizations there are and which are most common for homeschool groups
  • 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 is 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!
  • What filings may be required by your state (in addition to the IRS)

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.

Watch a preview:

The cost is $25.  The webinar runs approximately 1.75 hours.

What  you get for $25:

  • Access to the webinar recording
  • Handout of webinar slides
  • Sample Form 1023-EZ for your reference
  • ebook The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization by Carol Topp, CPA
  • BONUS: If you feel you need additional assistance, I will discount my hourly rate from $85 to $60/hour if you have purchased the webinar.

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

The first webinar is Create A Nonprofit for Your Homeschool Community. 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