Question: Tax returns never filed

Elementary school coach has taken control of pto funds for 9 years. I was recently elected president and asked her for tax returns, files, etc. She stated they never had to file tax returns because they never made more than $5000 and paid taxes. Then she handed me an irs letter dated 2014 with a tax ID# and said she doesn't know if it needs to be renewed. I asked for bylaws and forms and states it was on a laptop stolen, asked principal, last years VP and treasurer and bylaws never given given them. Help please.

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
Hi there,
Ok, so you can move forward from here! Does the group have a bank account? It would have needed an tax ID number to set that up. So, check to see if there is a bank account. If there is, assuming the coach's name is on it? First step would be to get your name on it, along with that of a second officer.

Find out what's in the account and ask for back statements so you can be aware of what's come in and what's been spent in the last few years. Find out where you stand, right now, and then start taking steps to rebuild the group.

Do you have officers? Get together with them and review what needs to be done short-term (any events planned for the fall?) and what's the long term plan.

Are you ready to schedule a general meeting? It's a great time to reintroduce yourself as a group!

If you are certain the bylaws don't exist, you can work on putting those together. Here are a few good resources to help you do that:

How To Write PTO bylaws

10 Key Points About Bylaws

Moving onto tax returns. You can call the IRS to find out if your group ever received 501(c)(3) status, and if not, note that you are moving in that direction. Nonprofit groups don't file "returns;" they file tax statements because, as nonprofits, they don't pay taxes.

Just do one thing at a time and it will all start falling into place.

Hang in there!


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