Question: Incorporated since 1970?

I am researching the status of our PTO, and found that we are operating under the school's EIN and by their rules, but we've been incorporated in OK since 1970! We have no 501c3 status or EIN of our own. When I go to file for these things will our Incorporation date go back to 1970 or does it expire maybe?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
Most states require you to file an annual form to maintain your corporate status. I don't know about Oklahoma's rules specifically, but chances are if it's been many years since anyone filed, you've lost your status. Check with the state corporations office to see if your corporation is still considered active (usually that's under the secretary of state). If you are using the school's EIN, you haven't really been operating as a separate entity anyway. I'm thinking it makes sense to start from scratch as a new independent organization. It might help to have a brief chat with an attorney experienced with nonprofit law, since nonprofit regulations do differ from state to state.

Community Advice

KristiC writes:
I've checked and our corporation status is till valid. What would be my next step? Move to file the 1023 and get our own EIN?

Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
The fact that you're incorporated but don't have an EIN is unusual. I did a quick search to try to find out when EINs were first issued -- maybe they didn't exist when you incorporated. I don't know whether you're best off starting over or moving forward as a long-standing group. You might start by calling the IRS nonprofit helpline at 1-877-829-5500. They're actually quite helpful and the wait to talk to someone is generally brief. Explain your situation and see what they recommend as far as the best steps to apply for 501c3. The key is that you're considered a new group when you incorporate. If you can incorporate as a new group now, it would save you a lot of effort to compile past financial information.

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