Provided by Cath Madden Trindle, CG, FGS Treasurer
Many genealogical organizations have applied and been accepted by the IRS as 501(c)3 organizations. In the past, those organizations that had average annual income of less than $25,000 were exempt from filing any paperwork once their initial five-year qualification
period was over.
This is no longer true. Starting in 2008, while still exempt from Federal income tax, genealogical societies are among those organizations that must file an annual return no matter how little their income is. The good news is, if average income is below $25,000 per year, the society will only need to file 990-N, or e-Postcard. This form takes just minutes to fill out. You will need your FEIN and contact information when you access the postcard from the IRS website at http://www.IRS.gov .
For those who feel slightly intimidated anytime they deal with a government form, the IRS website offers a wealth of materials to help the non-profit society determine their filing requirements, which form to use, and how to complete it. Failure to file a return for three years will result in an organization losing their non-profit status. If your society hasn’t filed for 2008, be sure to do so right away. Late is better than never.