Thursday, August 5, 2021
IRS Information Request – First Request Letter
About one month ago, I received a letter from the IRS about the status of my nonprofit, Global Alternative Learning Systems (G.A.L.S.). Before opening the letter, I was imagining it to read that we were approved for 501c3 tax exempt status. After opening the letter, I realized they had sent me a First Request Letter for more information. The IRS gave us seven things to review before resubmitting our paperwork.
1 – Amending Organizing Documents
According to the IRS response (July 1, 2021), G.A.L.S. organizing documents did not meet the organization test of the IRC Section 501c3, and we must amend our documents to include adequate purpose and dissolution clauses. They provided examples for us to use and then proceeded to give us a list of other things we must add to our organizing documents.
2 – Provide a Website
The IRS is requesting that I submit copies of my webpages to our organizing documents. Just a few months ago in May, I started my first website. Now that I have a little bit of web building experience, I will be spending the next few weeks creating a new website for G.A.L.S.
3 – Creating a Municipal Education System
In our organizing documents I detailed how G.A.L.S. main function will be to create a municipal education system that connects teachers, families, and communities to provide professional educational resources on a local and global level. The IRS claims that my statements are very broad and asks that I provide a detailed description of activities we will be including: a) what specific activities we will conduct, b) where we will conduct the activities, c) when or how often the activities occur, and d) how the activities further our exempt purpose. I will be going into further detail how I will be designing a new municipal education system that does not exist.
4 – What’s the Difference Between G.A.L.S. and the Current Education System?
I am so glad they asked this question. As I just stated, I am creating an education system that doesn’t exist yet. It will start as a supplement to our current education system and eventually build into a municipal education system where communities take back control of how they educate their children. I will be finding a better way to put these actions into steps that will make sense in the organizing documents.
5 – Describe in Detail the Educational Programs G.A.L.S. Offers to the Public
The IRS would like to know the workshops, classes, seminars, or financial planning, budgeting, credit/debt relief, or other educational programs we will be offering to the public. For each of the different programs, they want us to provide the following: a) list of past and scheduled sessions at which there were attendees, include fees charged, b) sample of the syllabi and all written materials, and c) if sessions were offered in partnership with other entities, the name of each entity, the terms of the partnership and any limitations on attendees. The thing is, we have not started any courses or building G.A.L.S. partnerships since we are still in the process of getting the initial organizing documents approved by the IRS. However, we do have a solid idea of the courses we do want to start and will be detailing all of that on the G.A.L.S. website before we start up the actual business.
6 – Insufficient Information Regarding G.A.L.S. Revenues and Expenses
G.A.L.S. has not been in existence for even one whole year, so we had zero revenues and expenses, and I did not list anything on our organizing documents. However, the IRS stated if we haven’t completed one tax year, we are to include projections for three years of financial information. The revenues and expenses is something G.A.L.S. treasurer and myself are working on, but neither of us have much experience, so we will be reviewing other organizing documents on file to get a good idea of where to start (all nonprofits organizing documents are open for public viewing).
7 – Declaration
The IRS asks G.A.L.S. to include a declaration with our responses, signed and dated by a board officer. This is the part at the end of the document that states: “Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this request, or this modification to the request, including accompanying documents, and, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the request or modification contains all the relevant facts relating to the request, and such facts are true, correct, and complete.” Once I complete all the requests listed above, I will sign, date, and resubmit for approval.
G.A.L.S. Business Goal for August: Get Approved for 501c3
Each day in August, I will be working on all seven steps to get the information requested by the IRS for G.A.L.S. organizing documents. I thought I would try to work on a step a day, but many of the steps are related or intertwined. In order to start the website, I will need to list the programs we will offer, and then I will be able to better detail how the municipal education system will differ from our current systems. I should also have a better idea of the revenues and expenses when we have all the programs listed. One day at a time we will slowly start growing and by the end of the month G.A.L.S. will be ready to be approved for 501c3 status.
Thank you for reading,
Jaime Brainerd, E.d.D.