Some Newton agencies lose nonprofit status with IRS

Photo by Nick Viviani

Photo by Nick Viviani

CONYERS -- Some Newton County nonprofit agencies have found themselves on a list of entities that have lost their tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS announced this month the loss of nonprofit, tax-exempt status for 275,000 organizations around the country for allegedly failing to file annual paper work for at least three years. The list includes 46 Newton County organizations.

Many of the groups on the revocation list are long-defunct or no longer active, while other groups, which have maintained their non-profit status, could easily be confused with groups with very similar names.

Buncie Lanners, executive director with the Arts Association in Newton County, said to the best of her knowledge the entity listed as Council for the Arts -- Newton County is now defunct, but it is not to be confused with the organization founded in 1989 which is Community Arts Association in Newton County, Inc.

The Arts Association in Newton County is a nonprofit organization with the mission to encourage youth and adults in the community to participate in the arts.

"The Covington Regional Ballet is definitely still an entity, but we took it in under our nonprofit," Lanners said. "It's no longer a nonprofit of its own."

The list notes revocation occurred in May 2010, although the list of organizations was released on June 9.

According to the IRS, there is no route to "appeal" the revocation. Instead, groups can apply for reinstatement. Most organizations should be eligible to have that reinstatement applied retroactively to May 2010.

The tax exempt status revocation process came from the federal Pension Protection Act Congress passed in 2006. The federal law required more and smaller nonprofit organizations to file an annual information return or notice with the IRS. The Automatic Revocation of Exemption list was created from the law for organizations that did not file a return for the past three years.

Organizations with questions about their nonprofit status who didn't receive a notice may contact the IRS at 877-829-5500.

The list can be viewed at www.irs.gov/charities/index.html.