Question: What does the IRS use as a group’s “founding date”?

We are in the process of filing the paperwork to become a 501(c)(3) organization, and we’ll be incorporating as the first step. Although there’s been a parent group at our school for several years, we have never really been “organized.” Can we be considered “in existence for less than one year” since we are just now organizing?

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Advice from PTO Today

Elly writes:

You’re asking about filing with the IRS for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. To the IRS, your organization was formed as of your incorporation date, regardless of what happened before that date. For that reason, it’s important to incorporate before you file for tax-exempt status. If you file with the IRS and then incorporate, you will have to refile the 501(c)(3) paperwork.

Congratulations on your new business!

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