I can’t believe I forgot to post this since the booking consortium I belong to had a brief heart attack until we realized we were in compliance.

According to the NY Times, about 1/4 of Non-profits will automatically lose their non-profit tax status as of May 15. Not for profit organizations that made less than $25,000 a year didn’t used to have to file. A law passed in 2006 said any non-profit that doesn’t file for three consecutive years will lose their status. Since that covers calendar years 2006-2009, that means the end is nigh for a lot of small organizations. Groups this small may not have kept their contact information up to date and didn’t receive the warning letters the IRS sent out in 2007.

This may not impact the large arts organization you work for, but the smaller charities, trade associations and membership groups (maybe your block association?) to which you belong might be at risk.

The good news is that all you need to do to comply is send back a postcard form informing the IRS that you are still exempt from having to file the full 990.

Even better news–you can file this postcard, the 990-N electronically online at the IRS website.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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