Who does the bell toll for on May 17, 2010 in the United States? It might toll for thee, or at least for thou non-profit group.

May 17, 2010, is the deadline for small non profit groups to file a tax return with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service or lose their tax exempt status. It used to be a rule that if a non profit was small it did not need to file a tax return. But in 2006, a Congressional Act required all non profits (except synagogues and churches and “religious” institutions) to file an annual return or lose their tax exempt status. This mean donors to these groups would not be able to declare their contributions as tax deductions. On May 17, 2010, any group that has not filed in three years, can lose its exemption. They would need to refile and pay a fee of several hundred dollars.

I looked at the list of “Jewish groups” at risk, and it was filled with dozens of campus Hillels and Jewish War Veteran posts, social action and tzedaka groups and more. You can check a list of at risk groups here

Can teshuva, tefila and tzekaka avoid the IRS decree?? No. But a group can, today, fill out a 10 minute form at the IRS site, and save their neshama, or at least their tax status in the U.S.

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