Is Your Organization On The IRS’ Naughty List? Here’s How You Can Find Out…

Adaptistration People 019Diamonds may be forever, but not tax exempt status. Each year, the Internal Revenue Service automatically revokes an organization’s tax exempt status for failing to file a Form 990-series return or notice for three consecutive years. According to the IRS’ records, 41,479 organizations had their exempt status automatically revoked in 2015 and yes, some of those organizations were from the orchestra field.

The IRS maintains a handy searchable database that includes a complete list of organizations back through June, 2011.

IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check

When you arrive at the page:

  1. …select the “Were automatically revoked” option.
  2. …select “501(c)(3)” for the Exemption Type.

From there, you can enter other search parameters as desired as well as establish a date range for the search (search tips).

If, for some reason, you find your organization on the list, know that the IRS provides a path for reinstatement of tax-exempt status after automatic revocation. Granted, it is a fairly involved process, but far better than trying to start up a new organization.

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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