If you have read the title of this blog your body may have tensed and your heart rate may have risen. The word “taxes” causes such stress. Take a pause, take a deep breath. This is not scary. SWE is a tax-exempt organization. The IRS requires that if our sections have income less than $50,000 annually, that we let them know. This tells them we are still active and we have minimal assets. Sections with income greater than $50,000 annually do have to fill out tax forms. Most sections are not in that position. It is not the society goal that our sections be in that position. As a tax-exempt organization, we should be spending the incoming money on our organizational goals.
Let’s start at the beginning. EIN is just a unique number that identifies your section to the IRS. It stands for Employer Identification Number. It is one of the things that should be documented and passed from treasurer to treasurer during transition. Some collegiate sections don’t have an EIN because they are covered through their University structure. Ask the outgoing treasurer about your situation.
For most SWE sections, sometime between July 1st and November 15th, you need to have your treasurer register with the IRS and send an epostcard stating you have not exceeded the $50,000 gross receipts. It takes 10 minutes. Relax, this is not scary. You have to do it, but it’s not scary. If you need to file a full tax form, called the 990, we highly recommend that you find a local CPA (certified public accountant) to assist you.
We get a lot of question about the tax filings and EIN requirements from the sections. We also have a lot of support documentation. Take a look at this shortcut and if you can’t find an answer please reach out to the Grizzled Veterans of Finance.
Feel like generating some more income to support your sections goals? We’ll cover that next, so watch this space.
- Your Insider Guide to SWE Finances: Transitions
- Your Insider Guide to SWE Finances: Roles & Responsibilities