[Update: According to the CFA's Pollard cited below, the Community Foundation of Acadiana identified by the IRS as having lost its tax-exempt status isn't the current CFA located in Lafayette. Rather, based on the tax identification number, it's an organization that no longer exists: In 2002, the current CFA purchased the rights to the name "Community Foundation of Acadiana" from an Opelousas-based group now known as the Opelousas-St. Landry Area Community Foundation. Yes, it's confusing. This story has also been updated with quotes from the ASO's Krueger.]
The Internal Revenue Service on Thursday released a list of roughly 275,000 organizations that have automatically lost their tax-exempt status for failing to file annual reports for three consecutive years, and the list includes at least two prominent Lafayette organizations: the Community Foundation of Acadiana and the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra.
However, according to CFA Executive Assistant Mary Pollard, the Community Foundation recently received an extension from the IRS to file the required paperwork; Pollard provided confirmation via a copy of a letter from the federal tax-collection agency. The IRS also indicates on its website that approximately 50,000 of the organizations on its list filed the required forms during an extension period and are now in compliance.
ASO Executive Director Jenny Krueger called The Ind Thursday afternoon about the list, citing "some paperwork that's been confused and misfiled." Krueger added that the matter "should be taken care of shortly."
A few thousand of the organizations identified by the IRS are located in Louisiana, with a few dozen headquartered in Lafayette. Most on the list are defunct groups such as the Artists Alliance, the Women of Color Social Club and the Boxing Club of Lafayette. The Lafayette list also includes a few American Legion posts, a Knights of Columbus council and several sororities and fraternities.
The revocation of tax exemptions means the groups will be required to file annual tax returns and pay taxes on income. It also means that contributions to these organizations will no longer be tax-deductible. However, in conjunction with the release of revocations the IRS also announced steps to help these organizations apply for reinstatement of their tax-exempt status.
“During the past several years, the IRS has gone the extra mile to help make tax-exempt groups aware of their legal filing requirement and allow them additional time to file,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman says in a press release tied to the revocation announcement. “Still, we realize there may be some legitimate organizations, especially very small ones, that were unaware of their new filing requirement. We are taking additional steps for these groups to maintain their tax-exempt status without jeopardizing their operations or harming their donors.”
To access an Excel spreadsheet of the IRS list, click here.