Question: Can a charter school keep its own bank accounts?

I have a quick question, does a charter school PTO have to keep all their funds that they have raised with the overseeing agency or can they keep their own accounts to use to benefit the school. Should they obtain a 501c3 status or something if they keep their own accounts? The administration of the agency that sponsors our charter school told the PTO that they were committing tax fraud if they didn't keep any money they raised in the agency's general accounts. The school is in FL. Thanks.

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
I don't know all the ins and outs of the Florida charter school regulations. However, I would think if you incorporate and file for 501c3 status with the IRS, that would solidly establish your group as a separate entity and allow you to keep and manage the money you raise. On the other hand, if you don't do those things, I can see why the charter school would consider the group a committee of the school and would be cautious about accounting for the money you raise. One caveat: If your school is run by a for-profit company or is anything but a nonprofit, tax-exempt charter school, that would change things.

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