Question: PTO Regulations used for all groups

We have a well established PTO that has been around for several years. We have Articles of Incorporation, by-laws, our own bank accounts and credit card, and have applied to be a 501(c)(3). I commonly hear people make the comment, "you better be careful. PTO's aren't allowed to do___________". My question is, are there federal/state statutes specific to PTO type organizations, or are we governed solely by our by-laws?

Asked by doug_struck



Community Advice

Parttimeparli writes:
Firstly, you're governed by the restrictions that the IRS sets on 501(c)(3) organizations, then your state's corporation laws, then your bylaws.

Community Advice

mum24kids writes:
Right--what parttimeparli said (as well as state tax laws). And even if you look at IRS or state corporation laws, you aren't going to find anything so specific that it applies only to PTOs.

Whenever anyone says anything like that to me I ask them to get me the documentation so I can get it in the files so people know going forward. Ninety-nine percent of the time they can't produce anything, or what they do produce has been misinterpreted or doesn't really apply.

Community Advice

doug_struck writes:
I agree. I keep getting comments such as, "you can't spend money on that," or, "you can't carry that much money over for next year." The argument is always, "there are rules against that." Thing is, nobody can ever show me the rules in writing.

I hate to say it, but sometimes it feels like I'm being punished for good deeds. And the more successful our organization becomes, the greater the punishment.

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