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Why can't we use schools tax exemption?

17 years 4 months ago #128363 by pals
tim you are so right, in my district alone out of five parent groups we are the only 501, how many are using the schools number yet have their own bank account? In reality what the NYS dept taxation had told me is that isn't the way it should be done but basically no one has the time to track down parent groups...

"When you stop learning you stop growing."
17 years 4 months ago #128360 by Rockne

mykidsmom;128349 wrote: I am apart of the rare PTO that is not 501c3 and uses our schools tax id.

Hey mykids --

That's actually not that rare. I don't have exact numbers, but I'd say 30%-40% of PTOs operate that way.


PTO Today Founder
17 years 4 months ago #128359 by pals
I did the whole tax exemption process for our group and while it did take work and effort it was well worth it. You wonder about then doing it for the state but alot of times the federal also works for the state exemption. One thing to ask yourself is how much of your group's profits going toward sales tax, that was one reason we did it. when we had to pay almost $700.00 on a fundraiser that made us know that we had made the right decision.
It also helps alot with grant money and getting donations, which we dont do alot of but we do at times...the work has the advantage.

"When you stop learning you stop growing."
17 years 4 months ago #128349 by mykidsmom
I am apart of the rare PTO that is not 501c3 and uses our schools tax id.

We do have an understanding with the school about funds and often when we apply for a grant it is money that will go back into the school. I find it an advantage as we HAVE TO HAVE an open line of communication to work with the school for so many things we can do that they can't.

I think we have the most unique relationship parents and admin have in the entire district!
17 years 4 months ago #128341 by Rockne

FACTS FIRST;128269 wrote: The only restrictions on what you can do are placed by the IRS, In order to have the 501c(3) non-profit status..

This is a fairly significant overstatement. It varies by state, but PTA bylaws have quite a few restrictions that are well over-and-above what IRS regs require. Example: local PTAs are not allowed to advocate publicly for views contrary to official national PTA or state PTA positions. By next year, all local PTAs will be required to submit electronic databases of contact information of their entire membership to national PTA (through what's known as OMDR). Both of these are well beyond IRS requirements.

FACTS FIRST;128269 wrote: Why are so many quiting? Who says? While some groups do leave for many reasons, many groups are joining PTA.
It depends on what is the best "fit" for your group.

Who says that many members have left? The PTA does. PTA membership 30 years ago was more than twice what PTA membership is today, and that's despite fact that there are tens of thousands more schools today and tens of millions more schoolchildren. I don't have the PTA unit count from the 60s and 70s, but in the past 10 years, PTA's unit count nationally is down despite the fact that -- again -- there are more open schools than ever before. Net-net, more groups are leaving PTA than joining PTA, and that's been happening for quite some time.


PTO Today Founder
17 years 4 months ago #128340 by Rockne

Diane139;128240 wrote: The latter is the 501(c)(3) that was mentioned in one of the replies. It is a burdensome process to try to obtain certification as a 501(c)(3), and I am not sure it is worth it unless you expect and/or desire to solicit a lot of money. There get to be so many reporting requirements that, in my opinion, serving as a PA Treasurer starts to acquire and/or require an almost professional expertise. For the moment, I intend to apply only for the state sales tax exemption. It's a little less paperwork - though there are still reporting requirements.

Hi Diane -- Glad you found the site. A bit of feedback:

1. The groups I've worked haven't found the federal exempt (501c3) process to be that burdensome. And -- once you have the status -- the followup reporting requirements aren't that hard, in my opinion.

Furthermore, in many states the state exemption is nearly automatic/based on the federal exemption, if you havbe the federal exemption. Though it does not go the other way (federal doesn't grant exemption based on state). So if you're going to do one, you might want to make it the federal.

I think you'll find that -- besides the deductibility of donations -- many grantors will alos only consider 501c3s for their grant money.


PTO Today Founder
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