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IRS cracks down on· c,harities
at risk of losing

By ALySSA 8cHNuoo
Staff Write:r
Close to 50 charities in the com­
munity are at risk losing their tax­
exempt status if they don't file tax
returns by Oct. 15, according to the
Internal Revenue Service.
In Mississippi, 2,824 charities are
at risk of losing their nonprofit status,
which could hamper future fundrais­
ing efforts ..
The list includes organizations
which have not filed tax returns for
the past three years. Most are small,
community-based organizations,
such as service clubs, foundations,
faith-based ministries and university
student organizations. .
Many of the organizations on
the list are defunct or have been
absorbed into other entities,· such as
the Oxford-Lafayette keg America
Beautiful organization, which has
been--ab$orbed into the city under
Oxford-Lafayette Recycling for the
city of Oxford. .
"We operate under the city now,"
said Amberlyn Liles, recycling coor­
dinator for the city ..
. After. learning about the list
released earlier this week by the IRS;
LUes contacted them and filled out a
900-N form.
"That will terminate the status,"
she said. "It was pretty easy to do:'
Unaware law had changed
Some of the organizations were
simply unaware the law had changed
since 2006 when, previously, organi­
zations making or collecting less than
$25,000 in annual revenue or dona­
tions were not required to file tax
returns. After the law changed, aU
nonprofits had to file informational
returns regardless of their annual
revenue, although whatever revenue
exists is nontaxable.
"Members of our board were not
aware of this change in the law,
therefore the informational returns
were not filed," said Joey East, presi­
Reports fail· to get filed
Continued from Page I
. The IRS has issued a "one"time filing relief"
which gives charities an extended time to file
returns to avoid loss of tax-exempt status.
After Oct. 15, the IRS will automatically
revoke tax-exempt status for the organiza­
• dons, and will publish a list of those organiza­
tions in early 2011. Donors who give to those
organizations will be protected until the list is
. published.
Several of the organizations have addresses
.linked to the campus of the University of
Mississippi, although.. the university is not
responsible for them.
Several of the organizations are profes­
sional, honorary and academic student orga­
nizations. The leaderships of the organiza­
tions - president, vice president, secretary
- often leave 'the school after graduation.
"The leadership of the organizations change
every year, particularly at chapter advising
level, so reports fail to get filed," OM spokes­
woman Barbara Lago said.
Some of the organizations are dormant or
inactive, such as the Omicron Delta Epsilon
International Honor SOCiety in Economics
which has not been active for about 15 years
but was stUllisted as a nonprofit organization
with the IRS.
...................... .... "" .. P-­
dent of the Lafayette County Law
Enforcement Association and the
assistant chief for the Oxford Police
Department. "There is no tax due.
This is not of. the board
failing to pay its bills, but rather an
administrative oversight."
East said all of the association's
records are now up to date as of
"This is potentially the biggest
threat to the existence ofsmall chari,
ties that has ever occurred,» said
Bill Moak, president of the
Business Bureau, serving Mississippi.
"It's important that charities file their
returns to avoid loss of their tax