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This is a PTA group in NYC. We are exploring becoming incorporated to increase our fundraising capabilities.  As such we are contemplating filing for a charitable organization 501 (C) (3) tax exempt status, which would allow us to make tax deductible contributions as well as purchase insurance coverage to protect the PTA President and the organization.  Our concern is twofold: (1) would the IRS allow a public school PTA to file for this tax exempt status? and (2)  Given  potential impact that this might have on the school, i.e. embezzlement/corruption of funds effecting school closure, etc.  should the entire school population be polled instead of just the PTA meeting attendees?

A PTA group may be affiliated with a public or private school but still it is considered, if organized separately as you proposed by incorporation under the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation law, to be a private nonprofit.  1. The IRS would be able to grant 501(c)(3) organization status to such an organization. 2. Before incorporating you would want to arrange with the school board an agreement as to the relationship. In fact, most school boards already have regulations relating to nonprofit organizations that want to fundraise for the school. Unless the school board requires it, you would not need to poll the entire school population.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -
Member of New York Bar

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

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Harvey Mechanic


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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