You may have seen the story from the Internal Revenue Service announcing thousands of Ohio groups in danger of losing their tax-exempt status; now see the list of groups and organizations in the Akron area on the hit-list.
There are more than 1,200 on the local listing, many with names you'll recognize, out of more than 13,300 statewide on the IRS hit-list of non-profits that are due to lose their tax-exempt status because they haven't filed the paperwork or are out of business.
There are 386 non-profits alone listing an Akron address, including high-profile names such as the St. Vincent St. Mary Band Boosters; the Akron University Police Patrolmen Association; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Kenmore Youth Football; the Knights of Columbus; Sacred Heart Church; the Akron Rugby Football Club; the American Legion; Ancient Order of Hibernians; Black Law Enforcement Officers; Ellet Womens Club; Firestone Park Garden Club; Fraternal Order of Police chapters; Greater Akron Police Athletic Club; the International Soap Box Derby; Kenmore Amateur Baseball Federation; the Lighter Than Air Society; Patterson Park Peewee Football; Phi Sigma Alpha at the University of Akron; Mogadore Christian Academy; North Akron Civic Association; Theta Zeta of Delta Zeta House; Tri-County Softball; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
The database notes organizations that would have been notified by this past June; in some cases, it might be a simple paperwork glitch. Dave Osterland, chairman of the board of the Lighter Than Air Society, tells AkronNewsNow it was his understanding his group had two tax-exempt numbers and is properly operating under the number which is up-to-date.
Canton, Kent, Cuyahoga Falls, Clinton, Medina, Ravenna, Sagamore Hills, Hudson, Twinsburg, Macedonia, Tallmadge, Green, North Canton and other communities also had groups on the list. Many work with youth sports groups but also local civic organizations such as American Legion, Order of the Eagles, even Fraternal Order of Police.
“Concerted effort was made to notify organizations of their annual filing requirements,” said IRS spokeswoman Jennifer Jenkins. “Therefore, we believe that the majority of these organizations are defunct, and possibly have been so for awhile. However, for any organizations that lost tax-exempt status but are still in business, we want them to know of the special steps available to help them to apply for reinstatement of their tax-exempt status.”
Virtually every corner of the Akron-Canton-Wooster-Ravenna corridor has listings that include schools, youth athletic programs, unions, public service associations, religious groups, and organizations established to support worthy public activities and interests.
The Internal Revenue Service notes organizations get on the list for failing to file the proper documents for three consecutive years. The new law went into effect for small non-profits in 2007 but there are 13,300 organizations on the IRS auto-revoke list in Ohio, which means any income those groups take in could be listed as taxable and not eligible for tax-exempt status claimed by the donor.
The IRS does provide methods and help for organizations to recover their tax-exempt status.