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Nonprofit Law/Fundraising and individual accounts


Hi- We have a group of parents who have created a parent booster club for a dance competition team primarily to be used for fundraising for competition fees. I obtained a tax id number with my name attached to it listing the organization. It is not connected to the dance studio. We are opening checking account to keep the funds in. Original plan was to divide funds raised equally among all members of dance company as needed directly to the fees. . Do we qualify as tax exempt in this case? My guess would be the our amounts raised would be 4000 to 6000 per year. I am concerned that tax id number was filed under my name.

We are were exploring individual fundraising accounts for each child but most of what I have read on-line has warned against this. Any advice on individual fundraising accounts would be appreciated.

If you want donors to be able to deduct donations and not
to have your sales income, if any, taxed as long as you
comply with fundraising guidelines for 501(c)(3)
organizations, you would need to establish a charitable
trust, incorporate under a state's nonprofit corporation
law, or set up an unincorporated nonprofit association.
Your organizing document would need to state that it is
organizing under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3)
and have other required clauses. You would have at least
3 directors, with control of the board not in related

  After the initial set up, you would need to apply for
a EIN (tax id number)
and then you could apply for the IRS exemption
determination letter which could be effective
retroactively to the date of establishment of the
organization. The IRS minimum filing fee for such a
determination letter is $400 and goes up to $850.

See the IRS Publication 557 "Tax Exempt Status for Your
Organization" at:
in the right column on page 25 under "Organizations Not
Required to File Form 1023" discusses who does not need
to file and among those is "Any organization (other than
a private foundation) normally having annual gross
receipts of not more than $5,000.  These organizations
are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of
section 501(c)(3)."

The organization must have the required clauses in the
organizational document even if your organization is not
required to apply for federal exemption if you want the
benefits of being an exempt organization.
See, starting in the middle column of page 26 of
Publication 557  under "Organizational Test". Samples
start on page 77. Also you must operate as a 501(c)(3)
organization (see that publication 557 for the general

It appears that you have not done most of the above and, therefore, your sales would be taxed as any regular business.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

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


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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