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If we start a nonprofit and now are going to apply for 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, how will the IRS view this situation

Dallas, TX |
Filed under: Non-profit business

Where the Founder/Executive Director/President is the only signature on file at the bank, but all expenditures must be pre-approved by the whole Board (which includes two other people)? Also practically speaking will that affect future grants? Or will it not matter?

Attorney Answers 3


There is nothing obviously wrong with the situation that you have described. The best thing that you can do now is to Google IRS Form 1023 and read through all of the questions. You should pay special attention to Part V, which has questions like "Have you adopted a conflict of interest policy consistent with the sample conflict of interest policy
in Appendix A to the instructions?" Work with a lawyer in Texas who has submitted a great many tax-exempt entities to the National Office of the IRS for favorable determination letters.

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There is nothing specifically wrong with requiring preapproval of a number of officers or trustees for any expenditure for a nonprofit organization. Frankly, it sounds like your organizational documents are little unusual. You really need to have a tax lawyer help you prepare the correct articles of formation, and bylaws (many times called constitutions by nonprofits). You did not state what your nonprofit organization does, but depending upon its activities, the IRS may have a higher level of scrutiny.

I hope this helps!

Ron Cappuccio

If you do not like this answer or disagree, please look at one of the other answers provided. It is not necessary for you to try prove this answer is "wrong" or something with which you do not agree. This is a free service for you based on limited facts. Nevertheless, many times you need to consult an attorney with the details to get actual advice specific to your concerns. Do not put too many details in your questions or comments because this makes the information public and could hurt you. Government Regulations contained in IRS Circular 230 regulate written communications about Federal tax matters, including e-mail, between us and our clients. This is another attempt by the government to limit your rights and to extend the control of government over individuals and businesses. Nevertheless, such communications are either opinions or other written communications. This is not an opinion. It is other written communication and was not written to be relied upon, by itself, to avoid any tax penalties. In order to receive assurances of protection from tax penalties from a written communication, you should get an opinion letter. If you would like to discuss an opinion letter relating to any matter, please contact me and I will explain what is involved and what it will cost.

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I agree with the other posts by my colleagues. I would add that the IRS does not look at bank records initially so unless this information is volunteered it should not come up unless your governing documents state what you have recounted. However, practically speaking as well as best practices usually allows the Treasurer to be a signatory on accounts. I am not sure how this would affect grants on its face. Watch out for "Founders Syndrome" whereby a Founder of an organization perceives the organization as his or hers.

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