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LAMAR TIMES
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WEEKLY
08/05/2010
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Lamar charities
listed among
'at-risk'
In Mississippi, more than 2,800
charities are at risk oflosing their tax­
exempt status if they don't file returns
with the IRS by Oct. 15. In this area
alone, about 125 such organizations
are included on the IRS' most recent
list.
Bill Moak, presi­
dent and CEO ofthe
• List of
Better Business
gureau---- of Lamar
Mlsslssippi - whose
'at-risk'
organization is
charities.
working to alert
charities of the situ- -See Page XX
ation said
Mississippi actually -----­
is in relatively good
shape. In Florida, the IRS has identi­
fied more than 30,000 charities that
are at risk of losing their tax-exempt
status, he said.
The list includes organizations
which have not filed returns for the
past three years, according to the
Better Business Bureau's press
release, which notes that, "Most are
small, community-based organiza­
tions, including many service clubs,
foundations and faith-based min­
istries."
Although representatives of a num­
ber of local charities includf::d on the
list said this week they were under the
impression they were in compliance,
Moak noted that, "If they're on that
list, the IRS thinks they're out of com­
pliance."
Among the local organizations
included on the list are local chapters
ofthe Friends ofMississippi Libraries.
Ann Radojcsics, membership vice­
president ofthe Friends of Mississippi
Libraries, said that, as the parent
organization, it bas e-filed with the
IRS, but that local chapters are listed
separately from the parent organiza-
See Page

tion.
"I wish it were simple, but
it's not," she said of comply­
ing with the IRS regulations.
"And it never gets simpler."
Jamie Roddey, president
of the Pine Belt Legal
Professionals, the local
chapter of NALS, said she
doesn't know why that
organization would be
included on the IRS' list.
"I know that our treasurer
has filed," she said. "We're a
legal support group for attor­
neys. I know· ours has been
sent in."
Kevin Cayten, president
of the Mississippi Pro Youth
Sports Association, said this
week that his organization
has not been very active in
the last couple of years, but
that it should still be in com­
pliance with the IRS' regula­
tions.
"What I had set this up for
was kids that wanted to play
travel ball," Cayten said of
his organization, noting that,
"It was a real difficult task to
get" the tax-exempt status.
"It took forever to get it."
Curtis Waites, president of
Roll Play USA Inc., said he
also had no idea why his
organization was included
on the IRS' list.
The organization provides
outdoor recreational oppor­
tunities for people with dis­
abilities, he said, adding,
"Everything is filed. We're
good to go."
Moak said any organiza­
tion that doesn't believe it
should be on the list should
contact the IRS or visit the
IRS' Web site.
"The information required
is very short," Moak said. "It
wouldn't take a lot to come
into compliance."
IRS spokesperson Dee
Stepter said that, prior to
2006, charities that had an
income of less than $25,000
per year were not required to
file a return, but that
changed with the Pension
Protection Act of 2006.
The act made two impor­
tant changes affecting tax­
exempt organizations, effec­
tive the beginning of 2007,
according to an IRS press
release.
"First, it mandated that all
tax -exempt organizations,
other than churches and
church-related organiza­
tions, must file an annual
return with the IRS," the
release states. "The Form
990-N was created for small
tax-exempt organizations
that had not previously had a
filing requirement. Second,
the law also required that
any tax-exempt organization
that fails to file for three con­
secutive years automatically
loses its federal tax-exempt
status. The IRS conducted an
extensive outreach effort
about this new legal require­
ment but, even so, many
organizations have not filed
returns on time. II
F or small charities, there
are only eight basic pieces of
information that need to be
filed, and thl\t can be done
on the IRS Web site at
www.irs.gov, Stepter said.
Once on the site, there are a
number of ways to get to the
correct form, she said,
including typing in lie-post­
card" in the search engine on
the main page.
"We are doing everything
we can to help organizations
comply with. the law and
keep their valuable tax
exemption," IRS
Commissioner Doug
Shulman said in the IRS'
press release. "So if you do
not have your filings up to
date, now's the time to take
action and get back on
track."
According to the press
release, two types of relief
are available for small
exempt organizations a
filing extension for the
smallest organizations
required to file Form 990-N,
Electronic Notice (e­
Postcard), and a voluntary
compliance program (VCP)
for small organizations eligi­
ble to file Form 990-EZ,
Short Form Return of
Organization Exempt From
Income Tax.
"Small organizations
required to file Form 990-N
simply need to go to the IRS
website, supply the eight
information items called for
on the form, and electroni­
cally file it by Oct. 15. That
will bring them back into
the press
release states.
Tax-exempt organizations
eligible to file Form 990-EZ
must file their delinquent
annual information returns
by Oct. 15 and pay a compli­
ance fee, according to the
press release, which notes
that the extended deadline
does not apply to larger
organizations required to file
the Form 990 or to private
foundations that file the
Form 990-PF.
Moak said the situation is
a concern of the Better
Business Bureau because,
"We have a service that rates
charities. We've noticed that
the smaller charities don't
have the resources to hire
staff" to help keep them in
compliance with IRS regula­
tions.
According to the BBB's
press release, "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 organization, and will
publish a list of those organ­
izations in early 2011.
Donors who give to those
organizations will be pro­
tected until the list is pub­
lished, meaning that they
may still deduct contribu­
tions made before publica­
tion of the list."
Some of the charities list­
ed in this area as not being in
compliance appear to be no
longer functioning. Moak
said those charities should
notify the IRS that they are
no longer in business.
"If your charity is no
longer needed, there's a
process for doing that," he
said. "Really, the charity
needs to liquidate its assets
in a way that follows the
law."
The list of at-risk organi­
zations may be viewed at
http://www.irs. gov Ipu b/irs­
tege/ms.pdf. The IRS has
information about this issue
on its website at
http://www.irs.gov/chari­
ties/article/O.. id=225705.00.
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