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Does any one know which forms a troop/pack are supposed to file with the irs to maintain its non-profit status,our form filing has lapsed and were using lawyer/parent who's not a tax specialist, the form he's come up with is a form 1023, its rather daunting trying to fill in the answers,can anyone tell me if were on the right track?

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I believe Goldwinger is right.


Troops and Packs are not groups of themself. They exist only as an arm of their Charter Organization. As such, they assume the tax treatment status of the Charter Organization. If they are tax exempt, so is the Boy Scout Pack or Troop, and the Charter Org. should be able to provide your unit with a tax exempt certificate.


In our Council, the Council has announced that they cannot extend it's tax exempt status to individual units. I believe this is because although the BSA owns the program, the Charter Org. owns the unit.



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There is no such thing as a self-chartered unit. Troop 2 cannot charter Troop 2. At some point there must be a legitimately recorded organization that holds the charter. If it is "The Friends of Troop 2" then they should be registered as some type of 501 organization and they would be responsible for whatever annual filing was required by the State or Federal government.


Most units however are a youth service within an established organization. As such they would not need to file. Think of a Scout uit as a choir in church. They findraise for supplies and program activities such as workshops, but they do not exist as a legal entity, they are a function of the church. Such is the normal relationship between a scout unit and their charter organization.




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Beardad, it sounds as if you are out of luck claiming any kind of Tax Exempt Status. The way Bob White explains it is the way I'm always heard it. The Scouting Unit in of itself cannot exist without a charter organization and as such it assumes the characteristics of said charter organization. If your fictional "friends of..." wants to make themselves a Non-Profit Organization then they must go through all of the appropriate legal steps to be officially recognized by the IRS.

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I know a Troop in my local area which created its own non-profit, got Federal 501©(3) status, and then got in-State non-profit status. A unit Scouter in that troop is an attorney who deals in non-profits. His estimated donation of services was on the order of $10K.


Key points, from listening to them and others (including my own church):


- Federal non-profit status isn't cheap, and you'd bloody well better keep good books and records. The books and the operating records are subject to IRS inspection.


- BE ABSOLUTELY A-POLITICAL in all unit and NP operations. Do not dare to advocate anything political as a 501©(3). This can be as simple as "vote for X" at a Committee meeting. The IRS has several churches around the Nation at risk of losing their status and having to pay multiple year back taxes, with penalties and interest.


- Federal 501©(3) status is not necessarily the end of the paperwork. More than one State makes its own determination about whether an organization is/isn't a non-profit. My Council, and the BSA Supply Division Scout Shop had a heckuva time a couple years back because the State of Missouri decided to re-interpret the definition of non-profit.


- To summarize, creating your own non-profit is not a one-time expense. There will be ongoing costs of compliance.


Disclaimer: I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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It's actually fairly easy to form a non-profit organization (501©(7)), it just take a few papers and boom, you're done. Shooting clubs, cycling clubs, even golf clubs :-) do it all the time. Howevever, it take a bit more to establish yourself as a charitable non-profit which is what allows folks to give you donations that are tax deductable.


Since Scout units cannot solicit donations of cash, that shouldn't make a difference.


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crc, Just curious why you are worried about tax exempt status? Does your unit have a large unit account? Does it issue reciepts for donations so others can claim deductions? If it's for unit purchases I'd suggest asking you DE about using the Council tax exempt status. That's how the councils around me do it.


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While the Ship is chartered by a local service club.

There is a 501(3)©?? That we put into place so we could accept large donations.

Our Council didn't want to accept boats.

My accountant did the paperwork for free, but with fees and one thing and another it ended up costing about $1,500.

The accountant is a member of the Ship's Committee and takes care of the paper work that is needed.

For most units the costs involved are really not worth it.

You might want to tell people who donate to a unit that their donation is not tax deductible.

Donations to the Council or in most cases chartering organizations are.


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Tell the truth I don't know!!

We have a the local Elks.

They have a club in town and were a little afraid that if the Ship went under !!(I know!)

They would get stuck with a parking lot full of boats.

I'm unsure if they qualify as an educational charity?

As we are now we can ask the local UW who has de-funded organizations who have endowment funds (our council) for funding. I'm trying to get money for a 15 seater van and some cash to keep it on the road.

I had to send them all sorts of papers showing what out purpose was, vision, mission and all that good stuff along with the names of the "Club Officers".

So far they (the UW) couldn't have been more helpful and the nice Lady I'm working with tells me we stand a good chance. We might have to offer to share the bus with a couple of other youth organizations.


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Found this on the IRS web site


Deductible As

Charitable Contributions

Money or property you give to:


Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other religious organizations



Federal, state, and local governments, if your contribution is

solely for public purposes (for example, a gift to reduce the public




Nonprofit schools and hospitals


Public parks and recreation facilities


Salvation Army, Red Cross, CARE, Goodwill Industries, United Way, Boy

Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, etc.


War veterans' groups


Charitable organizations listed in Publication 78


Expenses paid for a student living with you,

sponsored by a qualified organization


Out-of-pocket expenses when you serve a

qualified organization as a volunteer



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If it is "The Friends of Troop 2" then they should be registered as some type of 501 organization and they would be responsible for whatever annual filing was required by the State or Federal government.


Yah, a lot of "Friends of" chartering orgs were created in da aftermath of the Dale decision in different parts of the country, as units lost their sponsors. They also reflect the workin' reality that sometimes a CO is pretty detached and the unit gets run by the parents (especially for cubs!), so why bother with da CO. I'm not in favor of these arrangements, they tend to lack longer term stability.


That havin' been said, there's no particular reason why they need to incorporate or seek an IRS determination (501) on tax exempt status, at least not for most units (you Sea Scouts with your own boats are a different story!). As J-in-KC describes, 501©(3) status in particular is too expensive in terms of time and money for most units to bother with. ©(7) social clubs aren't as big a burden, but yeh still end up with more overhead than a typical unit wants.


Most states recognize unincorporated associations, and the "Friends of..." charters would fall in this legal category, eh?




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