Hi. I am the new treasurer of a BSA Scout Troop in Ann Arbor, Michigan (hi everyone!) and looking for some advice on obtaining an EIN for bank account purposes. It's proved challenging and am hoping someone has pointers for me especially if someone has gone thru this type of situation before. My goals are: a). to obtain an EIN, and b). avoid having to do annual tax paperwork (we've never done it) but willing to if it's easy and required, and c) above all, follow the law and BSA guidance appropriately.
Here's my story...
Our Troop has had their checking account since 1998. We don't keep much money in the account; a few thousand $ at most and it's also in a non-interest bearing account.
Recently, when we added my name to the bank account, the bank advised us we needed an EIN (Employee Identification Number) for the bank account and showed surprise that our account has existed at all without an EIN due to the Patriot Act. I've confirmed from BSA from the "FISCAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR BSA UNITS" document (dated August 2013) that indeed each Troop/Pack/Unit should have an EIN.
Our Troop is chartered by "Friends of... so-and-so" and NOT a non-profit nor does our C.O. have their own EIN. This I confirmed. So I cannot use the Tax ID or EIN for our C.O.
I then go the route of getting my own EIN for the Troop by applying online for SS-4 at https://sa.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp but I keep getting rejected with a reference code of 101 online. For reference, I selected type as 'Community or Volunteer Group' since "these groups generally need an EIN for banking purposes" for "fundraising event, memorial fund, bowling league, or other non-business purpose". But I keep getting the online rejection of reference code 101.
Now I call IRS at 800-829-4933 about the reference code 101. I connect with an agent who advises me she doesn't know why I'm receiving the rejection code 101, but advises I should complete the SS-4 Form manually and send via fax. I do this.
About 3 weeks later I receive a letter from IRS advising me I have an EIN. Yay! But they tell me in my letter, "When you submitted your application for an EIN, you checked the box indicating you were non-profit organization" and then goes on to tell me about non-profit forms 990, 990-EZ, etc. I verify my application and I most certainly did not check any box indicating I am a non-profit organization. I clearly advise "Community or Volunteer Group" only and is needed only for banking purposes.
So I call IRS again and am told that Boy Scouts of America is non-profit so I should be all set and I should be happy. I was literally told this! I argue that the downstream units (my Troop) are not covered under the BSA charter nor Group Exemption and I stress again that all I need is an EIN for our bank account and that I'm NOT non-profit. To be clear, we're not for-profit, but we certainly aren't recognized as non-profit via 501(c)(3) formalities. I am told again that Boy Scouts of America is non-profit so I should be all set. I press again and am advised I should write IRS a letter explaining my situation.
Before I write a letter to IRS, I figured I would check here on the forum... Any ideas or suggestions? Has anyone else successfully received an EIN for a Troop/Pack/Unit from the IRS? Any clue what you may have entered in your fields to successfully get your EIN and not have IRS think you were non-profit? Any ideas I can tell IRS if I call them again to let me keep my EIN (or give me a new one) by reclassify me NOT as non-profit? I was thinking that since I received the EIN from IRS maybe I should just run with what I have, but the fact that they think I am non-profit and I don't really plan to do Form 990, etc, that seems misleading and a very bad idea.
Any guidance or help greatly appreciated!