Sunday, September 15, 2013
Earlier this week, the IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of an Oklahoma nonprofit group, Turn Tulsa Pink. The organization is “the fundraising arm” of Breast Impression, a local Tulsa § 501(c)(3) nonprofit that assists patients battling breast cancer.
Turn Tulsa Pink’s problems started back in May after the IRS revoked Breast Impressions tax-exempt status for failing to file a Form 990 for three consecutive years. Breast Impressions’ executive director said the reason the organization failed to file the proper forms was “due to an administrative oversight.” The executive director went on to explain that after learning about the error the organization immediately sent the IRS all of the required information, a retroactive reinstatement request, and the necessary fees.
The Form 990 is the IRS’ principle reporting document and accountability tool. All federally tax-exempt organizations, except for churches, are required to file the Form 990.
What are the reasons for excluding churches from filing a Form 990? Is it fair that other charities risk losing their tax-exempt status for failing to do the same thing churches are excused from doing? What are the arguments that Turn Tulsa Pink should or should not be required to file a Form 990?