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Most Youth Sports Organizations Don’t Have 501 (c) (3) Tax Exempt Status

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According to Kids Non Profits USA, 75% of all youth sports organizations such as sports leagues and travel teams qualify for Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(3) status, but fail to apply for it as required by federal law. Unfortunately, many sports organizations have been under the mistaken belief for many years that they were tax exempt under federal law.

The most common reasons that many sports organizations mistakenly believe that they are 501(c)(3) tax exempt are as follows:

  • On their application for a Federal Employer Identification Number, they indicated that they were a nonprofit and thought that this was all that was required.
  • They received state nonprofit corporation status, but they neglected to apply for federal 501(c)(3) status as a tax exempt organization.
  • The assumed that they were automatically tax-exempt since they were and all volunteer run organization.
  • They assumed that the prior administrators properly applied for tax-exempt status many years ago.

The benefits of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status are as follows:

  • Exempts the sports organization from paying federal income taxes
  • Allow donors of cash, property, or equipment to take a federal tax deduction on their tax returns.

The risk of not properly applying for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status are as follows:

  • Sports organization is responsible for filing and paying federal and state income taxes as a taxable business.
  • The sports organization is subject to federal and state penalties as well as back taxes.
  • Donors may have taken improper tax deductions on their personal tax returns thinking that the sports organization was tax-exempt.

In addition, in 2010, the IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of some 250,000 organizations for failure to file an annual information return for the three prior years. Such organizations are required to refile for tax-exempt status.

Directors & Officers liability policies may cover certain lawsuits alleging that managerial negligence was the cause of loss of tax-exempt status and resulting damages. However, such insurance should not be relied upon due to common policy exclusions for knowing violation of the law.

Kids Non Profits USA offers a special 501(c)(3) application package starting at $399 (plus an IRS application fee).

Source: knpusa.org

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