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Nonprofit Organizations and Independent Contractors

By: Erica Weintraub, Law Clerk A common issue that arises at small nonprofit organization is how to classify the individuals who perform work for them. Nonprofit organizations have to determine whether individuals are independent contractors or common law employees. This blog post discusses how to distinguish the two types of workers, filing requirements for each type of worker and the potential consequences of misclassification. The first factor to consider is …Read More

IRS Publication 557: A Resource for New and Start Up Nonprofits

By Mariana Muci The IRS writes and publishes an informational booklet that gives taxpayers detailed guidance on tax issues. IRS Publication 557 deals specifically with non-profit organizations.[i] This publication discusses and provides explanations for the rules and procedures that organizations must adhere to in order to receive an appropriate tax-exempt status ruling or determination letter.[ii] Directors, officers, and other persons responsible for ensuring an organization’s compliance with tax laws and …Read More

Political Activity at your 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization

Election season is almost in full swing. Every year we are asked by nonprofit executive directors about policity actitivity at nonprofits. Americans will be electing a new President in 2016. There are many important issues at stake and without a doubt issues that impact the work of your nonprofit organization and your stakeholders. Despite recently court ruling holding corporations to have certain rights under the Bill of Rights, the IRS has …Read More

Pro Bono Work Outside the Courtroom: Helping with the Legal Needs of Nonprofit Organizations

Most lawyers are familiar with the Public Service rules of Professional Conduct. Lawyers often take individuals on as pro bono clients, assisting them with pending civil or criminal legal issues. Pro bono service can be, and is often, provided outside of a courtroom, to organizations rather than individuals. Lawyers with skills in corporate, transactional and regulatory legal matters can play an important role in social change efforts by supporting charitable …Read More

How can I get a copy of my nonprofit organization’s tax exemption letter?

You may request an affirmation letter.  The affirmation  letter serves the same purpose for grantors and contributors as the original determination letter. If the affirmation  letter will not meet your needs and you wish to obtain a copy of the original determination letter, you must send a written request to the EO Determinations office in Cincinnati.  The request should be submitted using Form 4506-A, or in a letter containing the name …Read More

Can I transfer my organization’s tax exempt status to another organization?

Each month, I field dozens of calls from individuals and groups looking to start nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations.  Recently, a potential client called with a unique question: Can we transfer the tax-exempt status of Entity A to unrelated Entity B? My clients thought this may be less complicated (and less expensive) way of obtaining tax-exempt status, rather than completing a 1023 Application for Entity B. As I did some research into the …Read More

IRS Form 990PF: The First Step in Securing Private Foundation Grants for your Nonprofit Organization

Form 990 is an annual tax return that is required to be filed by most federally tax-exempt organizations. There are different versions of this form, depending on the size and type of the tax-exempt organization. In general, this form asks organizations to report on their mission, programs and activities, and financial information.  Churches are usually not required to file a form 990. Also, nonprofits that do not have a tax-exempt …Read More

Benefit Corporations 101

Henry Ford, the well-known industrialist and businessman, once sought to benefit his fellow man by distributing profits from his vastly successful company among his community and employees.[i] Learning that they were about to be deprived of a portion of the company’s profits, the Ford Company shareholders sued Ford.[ii] The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of the shareholders, holding that Henry Ford, as the company’s president, owed a duty to …Read More

Side Project raises $2000 for Erie Charities!

ERIE, PA – On June 6, 2015, Side Project, Inc. brought their annual Summer gathering and fundraiser to Erie, the tenth annual TailGREAT. More than 160 guests gathered at the Neighborhood Art House for food and drink before attending a Seawolves game.  Guests were treated to a unique tailgate party and the opportunity to raise money for several worthwhile organizations! The event raised more than $2000.00 for the Neighborhood Art …Read More

Erie Tail-GREAT Winter Classic – February 14, 2015

What are you doing for Valentines Day? Why not tail gate for a great cause. Ticket price gets you food catered by Calimari’s , all the beer you can drink, and a ticket to the woman’s hockey home game at Mercyhurst. The game begins at 2 pm on February 14, 2015 as the lady Lakers will host the Nittany Lions of Penn State University.  Tickets are $40/Couple and $25/individual. Get …Read More