May 13, 2010

A new law passed by Congress may result in the loss of tax-exempt status for 5,297 Kentucky nonprofits, including 2,611 public charities, if they do not file a simple form with the Internal Revenue Service.

Nonprofits-especially smaller organizations with annual revenue under $25,000-must file an electronic version of IRS Form 990-N (also known as the ePostcard) by May 15. This form has eight simple questions and can be filled out in a few minutes. Larger organizations must file Form 990 or 990-EZ.

"People involved in small nonprofits should double check the list from a special link on our website, http://www.kynonprofits.org, to ensure they do not lose their tax-exempt status." said Danielle Clore, director of Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Initiative at the University of Kentucky. "It would be an expensive distraction for small volunteer groups to pay the $750 filing fee to reinstate their tax-exempt status, not to mention the time required for paperwork."

The Nonprofit Leadership Initiative, through a partnership with the National Council of Nonprofits, offers resources on its website, http://www.kynonprofits.org, to help nonprofit organizations retain their tax-exempt status. Click on the link from the Urban Institute's National Center for Charitable Statistics. Click on Kentucky and then search for the organization using the name or location fields. Check the filing status for the organization. If it is listed as "File Now," click on that link to electronically file the proper form with the Internal Revenue Service.

Nonprofit leaders with questions can contact the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative at 859-257-2542.

The Nonprofit Leadership Initiative is an outreach program of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. It serves and strengthens Kentucky's nonprofit sector through educational opportunities, consulting services, and resources for organizations and their leaders. Visit http://www.kynonprofits.org or call 859-257-2542 to learn more.