HOW TO FILE FOR YOUR GARDEN CLUB’S 501(c)(3) Status
Has your garden club filed for a with the IRS? You know it’s important.
There are many things your garden club can’t do because it hasn’t obtained its status, such as:
The 501(c)(3) status doesn’t automatically happen. You need to apply for it. So, what is it exactly?
A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization that is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United States Code.
According to the IRS website, organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Garden clubs typically qualify. However, you may have heard horror stories about
Well, no more! The IRS has streamlined the process. If your annual gross receipts total $50,000 or less, your garden club can use the new IRS 1023-EZ form to apply. You don’t need to be incorporated, and you don’t need to pay a tax professional or an attorney to do it for you. It’s easy, quick, costs only $275 and you should have your tax-exemption status within two weeks from filing. Just follow these instructions:
1. Get an EIN (employment identification number, also known as a federal tax identification number).
2. Set up an account and pay the $275 fee.
3. Form 1023-EZ is quite simple. Check the box to attest that you have completed the worksheet. In Part 1: Put in your club’s name (exactly as shown on your EIN), your new EIN number, the month your tax year ends, and contact information. The user fee submitted is $275. You will list the names, titles and mailing addresses of your officers. If the person applying is not an officer, make sure you list his or her contact information as an “Advisor.”
4. In Part II: Check whether you are a corporation or an unincorporated association. Check the box that indicates you have the necessary organizing document. Add the date you were incorporated or formed, and in what state. Check the box in #5. Check the box in #6. Check the box in #7. If your organizing documents don’t contain this information, be sure and have them revised immediately.
5. In Part III: Enter the code “C42.” Check “Charitable” and “Educational” in #2. Check the box in #3. Answer “No” to questions 4 through 11.
6. In Part IV: Check the box under 1b.
7. In Part V: Leave it blank.
8. In Part VI: Check the box and type the name of the signer, title and date.
9. Submit the form. You can expect to receive your 501(c)(3) status letter by mail within two weeks!
You will be required to file a 990N postcard annually – that is also online and you will receive a letter from the IRS explaining how to do that. That is also very simple to do.
Congratulations! You are now a 501(c)(3) club!
Treasurer, Pacific Region Garden Clubs Inc.
Articles and photos reprinted with permission by The National Gardener, Fall 2017.