You Don't Want To Be On This List

Earlier this month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a list of organizations that have had their federal tax-exempt status automatically revoked for failing to file an annual information return or notice for three consecutive years. If you read Butts In The Seats, you already know what this is all about and since Joe did such a good job describing it in his blog post back in May, I’ll borrow an excerpt…

According to the NY Times, about 1/4 of Non-profits will automatically lose their non-profit tax status as of May 15. Not for profit organizations that made less than $25,000 a year didn’t used to have to file. A law passed in 2006 said any non-profit that doesn’t file for three consecutive years will lose their status. Since that covers calendar years 2006-2009, that means the end is nigh for a lot of small organizations. Groups this small may not have kept their contact information up to date and didn’t receive the warning letters the IRS sent out in 2007.

But back to the list of those who fell out of compliance. You can download lists by state at the corresponding IRS webpage or you can download the entire collection (divided by state and in xls format) in this handy zip file I put together for convenience sake (who loves ya?):

Download Automatic Revocation of Exemption List

In the meantime, here are a few groups I pulled out of a handful of the lists that caught my attention via a search for “symphony.”

  • NEW YORK CHAMBER SYMPHONY SOCIETY
  • BROOKLYN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
  • DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA GUILD
  • TEXAS WIND SYMPHONY INC
  • MUSICIANS OF THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY
  • WOODLANDS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
  • CALIFORNIA SYMPHONY SOCIETY INC
  • OAKLAND SYMPHONY MUSICIANS

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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0 thoughts on “You Don't Want To Be On This List

  1. From what I have been reading about this list, some of those who did file on time and properly still got dropped so it may be worth checking the list even if you are sure you are compliant.

    I checked the list for my state and there were some interesting inclusions like Boys and Girls Club chapters, high school alumni groups and at least one arts organization that I know is fairly active.

    Joe

  2. The IRS is offering transitional relief for small revoked groups. It’s one of the best deals I’ve seen in my four decades of professional involvement with non-profit taxes. If you can honestly say there is still a need for your non-profit, and you feel you can muster the human and other resources needed to sustain it, don’t pass up this opportunity to regain your tax exempt status.

    There are no shortcuts. You will have to fill out a new exemption application and pay an IRS User Fee. But for organizations with annual gross receipts normally less than $50,000, the User Fee will be reduced to only $100 and reinstatement will be retroactive. The offer is only good through December 31, 2012. You can find the details in IRS Notice 2011-43. [http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-11-43.pdf]

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