While the Glenside Color Computer Club has always operated as a not-for-profit group, our constitution and by-laws state that we will be a federally recognized non-profit organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(3) guidelines. Though the club was organized long ago, it had never filed the paperwork to officially be so recognized.
Before everyone gets concerned, this will not significantly affect club operations. Namely:
- The club is prohibited from campaigning for political parties or candidates. I don’t think we’ve ever done so.
- We have already been filing the postcard-sized 990-N federal tax return required by non-profit organizations receiving less that $50K gross annual receipts. We will simply continue to do so.
- The club must keep financial records. We do this but were already working to mature our record keeping. The status creates another incentive to do so and report to the membership yearly financials.
This does, however, mean that fair market value of club donations can be deducted from the donor’s personal taxes. I don’t think folks were previously withholding donations from the club, but this provides just a bit more incentive. For donations over $250.00 (which could be common, given the current value of Color Computer items), a receipt must be provided to claim a deduction.
Many thanks goes to Rich Bair, our long time secretary, for pushing for this status and performing the early leg work involved. Thanks also to Brian Goers, current secretary, for arranging legal help on this matter.
For the record, the tax exempt status went into effect as of March 31, 2021, so it appears we can create receipts for many 2021 donations if folks want to claim on their 2021 taxes. Also, for what it is worth, 501(c)(3) organizations are classified as either public charities or foundations, and the IRS has classified us as a public charity.