Question: Tax Exempt Stauts

Our school is located in PA. We recently we made aware by our school solicitor that the PTO can not use the schools EIN for anything. However, our elementary schools merged recently and one of the school had already had a tax exempt status from years ago. We were going to attempt to just change the school name on the tax exempt but then I realized that the application needed a EIN. Not exactly sure what to do? I also see that an income over $10,000 you must file a tax return. I don't think the school that had the tax exempt ever did that. Suggestions?

Asked by reasey23



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
Start by checking with the IRS to find our whether the group still has tax-exempt status. Go to the Exempt Organizations Select Check tool at Search for "organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions." If you don't find it, search for organizations that "were automatically revoked."

If your group is listed in either category, you should be able to find the EIN as well.

If you still have tax-exempt status and your gross receipts are under $50,000, you just need to file From 990-N on time this year to keep your status. The IRS automatically cancels your tax-exempt status if you don't file for three years. If you need to file for reinstatement, you're probably better off filing as a new group—both require pretty much the same steps, including filling out Form 1023, the application for tax-exempt status.

Community Advice

ete.pto.pres writes:
Our PTO recently had a similar discovery! We restarted our PTO as a new organization. We contacted an attorney and Incorporated, obtained an EIN #, filed for our 501c3 status and then we will file for Tax exempt status. I was a longer process but in the long run we are better off disconnecting from the old organization. We couldn't use the schools EIN# either, we needed an EIN# or SSN# in order to file for our own EIN#. There was no way we were going to ask any of the board or membership to use their SSN# that is just too risky!! We were however able to talk with the financial director for our district and get them to finally allow us to use their EIN# just to file our paperwork! Maybe you too could talk to the school and ask them to help you acquire your own EIN#? Good Luck!

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