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The Difference Between 501(c)3 And 501(c)4 Nonprofits

You might find yourself in a position of having to register a non-profit. It is not always a straightforward process. You will first have to do your research to learn about the different non-profits organizations available. When you’re researching how to start a 501c3, it is important to understand how different it is from a 501c4. Charitable and Social Welfare From the surface, it would seem that charitable and social welfare courses are the same but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are overlaps in their inferences but it is imperative that you understand the difference. A 501(c3) is formed...

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Mistakes You Should Avoid When Choosing a Business Entity

It can be an exciting endeavor when embarking on a new venture. If you’re an upcoming entrepreneur, setting up the legal structures will be the last thing on your mind. There are some that could choose to address the issue at all hoping it will take care of itself in the future. This rarely happens. There is a need to have proper legal structures in place. This will apply even if you’re searching for how to start a 501c3. Here are some of the common mistakes that a lot of people make when starting a business entity. Not Understanding Taxes Depending on...

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What is a Non-Profit Organization?

There are so many organizations whose sole purpose is to help individuals as well as communities that are in need. The overwhelming majority of such organizations can be termed as not-for-profit. There is a difference between a for-profit and non-profit organization and you can read on to find out. We’re also going to highlight some tips that can come in handy if you’re looking for information on how to start a 501c3. Definition of a Non-profit Organization A not-for-profit organization can be defined as a business that has been granted tax-exempt by the IRS due to the fact that it furthers a...

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Everything You Need to Know About Nonprofits

Nonprofits are the embodiment of the American spirit. They provide an avenue for people to come together for the common good. You could be thinking about how to start a 501c3 but not sure if it is worth pursuing. According to statistics, there are more than 1.6 million nonprofits that are feeding, clothing, sheltering, educating and nurturing across the globe. What is a Nonprofit? This is a word that will mean different things to different people. It is not uncommon for the word to be used interchangeably with “tax-exempt” There are different types of organizations that are tax-exempted but not all of them will...

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Nonprofit Unrelated Business Income

The question concerns nonprofits receiving income from business activities. How much income can they receive from related activities before they lose their status? Also, how much from unrelated activities before they lose their status? There are at least two scenarios, one when a nonprofit has an actual business it is running, and another where it is receiving income from the sales of related goods, and then unrelated goods. First, the IRS defines UBIT (Unrelated Business Income which is taxable to a non-profit) as income derived from: "(1) a trade or business, (2) regularly carried on, and (3) not substantially related to furthering...

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Avoiding the OFAC

AVOIDING THE OFAC The Office of Foreign Assets Control, and How it Affects Your Nonprofit   Many nonprofit organizations have heard rumors about the “OFAC” and how one slight infringement of its rules can bring jail time or millions in fines. While the OFAC, or Office of Foreign Assets Control, is certainly not to be taken lightly, however, with a little knowledge and forethought most nonprofits should not have difficulty avoiding OFAC violations. In fact, the vast majority of nonprofits will never have cause to worry about the OFAC, simply because they are not involved in the types of situations with which the...

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Deductibility of Mission Trips

Hi, Rocky, We have a lot of groups going on mission trips around the world. I have always felt that the airfare should be a tax-deductible expense. As a CPA, would you agree? David Marmon This depends on what side of the picture we are looking at. If we are having the volunteers pay for their own airfare in order to reach the mission destination, we have one situation. In another situation we have the organization paying for the expense to get the volunteers down there. In the first case, where the volunteer pays their own way, the volunteer can recognize itemized deductions for the...

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The Do’s & Don’ts of Benevolence Funds

Putting formal procedures in place is always a wise decision. A Benevolence Fund is no exception. Benevolence Funds are used by churches and other nonprofits to help those in need during a financial crisis. Here are some helpful hints for maintenance and oversight. Documenting is essential for protecting your ministry and putting in place checks and balances. Benevolence program Do’s: 1. Adopt and adhere to a written policy. 2. Make distributions from a general fund or benevolence fund. 3. Pay assistance directly to service providers (rent, mortgage, utilities, etc.). 4. Allow contributions only to the fund, not to any specific individual or family. 5. Develop adequate criteria...

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Nonprofit Record Keeping Part 1

What nonprofit records should be kept? Except in a few cases, the IRS does not require a special kind of record. A public charity can choose any nonprofit record keeping system, suited to its activities, that clearly shows the organization’s income and expenses. The types of activities a public charity conducts determines the type of records that should be kept for federal tax purposes. A public charity should set up a record keeping system using an accounting method that is appropriate for proper monitoring and reporting of its financial activities for the tax year. If a public charity has more than...

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Nonprofit Recordkeeping Part 2

Records Management Assets & Liabilities Assets are the property, such as investments, buildings and furniture an organization owns and uses in its activities. Liabilities reflect the pecuniary obligations of the organization. A public charity must keep records to verify certain information about its assets and liabilities. Records should show: -when and how the asset was acquired -whether any debt was used to acquire the asset -documents that support mortgages, notes, loans, or other forms of debt -purchase price -cost of any improvements -deductions taken for depreciation, if any -deductions taken for casualty losses, if any, such as losses resulting from fires or storms -how the asset was used -when and...

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