Question: Different Parent Groups in Elementary and HS

Our PTO group is run by the elementary school parents and we just became non-profit and tax exempt. We have a separate parent group in the high school that has their own bank account. Can we include them as a sub-committee of our PTO so that they are covered by our insurance, non-profit, and tax exempt status?

Asked by ksturtz



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
You can add a subcommittee to your group to serve the high school, and that subcommittee can be covered under your 501c3. It might mean changing your mission statement and possibly your group's name (from Our Town Elementary School PTO to Our Town PTO, for example). You would report those changes on your annual form 990-ez, and they shouldn't affect your tax-exempt status. If you're incorporated, you would likely need to report them to the state corporations office as well. If you do this, the high school subcommittee can't function as a separate organization. You can have a separate bank account for them, but it must be under your EIN. They must operate under your bylaws, etc. There is a way to cover multiple independent groups under the same 501c3, but you would have to reapply and it is a fair amount more complicated. Caveat: I'm not a lawyer and this isn't legal advice. However, it is my understanding of the rules based on our research and communications with the IRS.

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