The Internal Revenue Service has revoked the tax-exempt status of more than 100 Lawrence nonprofits who failed to file the proper paperwork for the past three years, according to recently released IRS documents.
But some of the Lawrence nonprofits on the list had valid reasons for not filing documents or had recently filed the correct forms.
For instance, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Douglas County popped up on the list, but Cathy Brashler, executive director, said that’s because the organization now files its documents through the state chapter.
The Oread Neighborhood Association, on the other hand, is still on the list, even though it recently corrected the issue by filing documents, said Robert Farha, association president.
And then there’s those local groups that appear to no longer exist. A Journal-World search of a sampling of the groups failed to find recent contact information for groups such as First Place Racing Ministries or the Kansas Ferret Association.
The national list has more than 300,000 groups, and shows nearly 4,000 in Kansas.
IRS spokesman Michael Devine, said the list was released after the agency sent more than a million letters to nonprofits warning about a pending revocation of tax-exempt status. A 2006 change in the tax law mandated that all nonprofits file some sort of documentation with the IRS, so some groups that had never been required to file are now obligated to do so. Organizations that failed to file for 2007, 2008 and 2009 ended up on the list, he said.
Nonprofits on the list can still function, but losing tax-exempt status means some would be required to now pay taxes, and donors might not be able to claim deductions for funds given to such agencies, Devine said.