Nonprofits Beware: The IRS is Watching You On-Line

The IRS has announced its intention to consider revoking the tax exempt status of nonprofit organizations that link to political campaigns or lobbyist groups on their Web sites.

There are currently no guidelines as to how tax exempt organizations should conduct themselves on the Internet. The IRS is trying to determine if new rules are necessary, or if existing rules can be applied to organizations with an Internet presence.

Some nonprofit organizations will probably benefit from a little guidance in this area. Others claim new guidelines might inhibit their ability to function on the Internet. "Voter and civic education is being called into question here," says Internet strategist Steven L. Clift, who runs the nonprofit Minnesota E-Democracy project, where Web sites link viewers with voter education material, including candidates' Web pages. "Although the IRS may be looking to keep national organizations in line, this could sound the death knell of local nonprofits on the Net."

Whether or not new rules are created, all organizations should remember that their on-line presence is not private, and the IRS is apparently watching carefully to make sure nonprofits maintain their tax exempt status in cyberspace.

You may like these other stories...

FASB mulling a revamped income statementDavid M. Katz of CFO wrote on Tuesday that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is in the early stages of researching whether to launch a project aimed at improving and...
Renaissance avoided more than $6 billion tax, report saysThe Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said on Monday that a Renaissance Technologies LLC hedge fund’s investors probably avoided more than $6...
A new Gallup survey found that 58 percent of smokers in the United States see increased state and federal taxes on cigarettes as an act of unjust discrimination, while 39 percent believe the tax hikes are justified.The...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 24
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.
Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.