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How do I ensure I keep my tax-exempt status?

In a nutshell, if you have started a nonprofit business, you need to keep detailed records from meetings with board members. If you do not have records the limited liability that is invaluable to your board members may go by the wayside. Notes from meetings and major decisions should all be recorded.

It is always best to maintain meticulous organization of all state and federal tax documents in addition to minutes and other records for the organization. A double-entry system of bookkeeping should be implemented for all financial gifts and donations. This will help when it comes time to file taxes.

Remember that as a tax exempt organization there can be no financial donations made to political campaigns and if the IRS finds out there has been, the status of tax exemption may not only be pulled, but it can impose a special excise tax on the corporation and involved managers.

If the organization plays too large a part in compelling legislation in a particular direction, this can be to the detriment of the tax exempt status as well. The government limits the amount of money a charitable organization can contribute to any legislative cause.

If your nonprofit engages in any activities that bring in a significant amount of income unrelated to the purpose and mission of the nonprofit, it may be beneficial to consult a Florida attorney knowledgeable in charitable organizations to guide you on this narrow path, so your tax-exempt status is not forfeited. Charitable organizations are great contributors to society and successfully maintaining a tax-exempt status can be a challenge.

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