Tax-Exempt Organizations

We help organizations qualify for and maintain tax-exempt status

Certain organizations are exempt from paying state and federal income taxes, a valuable benefit that allows these organizations to pursue the important work they do more effectively. To qualify, your organization must meet some very specific structural requirements and a number of ongoing compliance requirements and restrictions. Our attorneys at Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. advise and represent charities and other not-for-profit organizations throughout the state of Ohio. We can help your organization by handling the legal issues so that your organization can devote more time to its charitable purpose.

Qualifying as a not-for-profit organization

The process of qualifying as a tax-exempt organization begins at formation. Under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations, a corporation's articles of incorporation must contain very specific language and must not allow for monetary distributions to shareholders or members. This can vary depending on the type of organization, including:

  • Charitable (501(c)(3)) organizations
  • Churches and religious organizations
  • Social welfare organization
  • Political organizations
  • Private foundations
  • Business leagues

An organization seeking tax-exempt status must provide the IRS with a copy of its articles and other documentation with its application. Our team of lawyers can guide your organization through the application by drafting qualifying articles of incorporation and gathering necessary documents and forms.

Ongoing compliance requirements for tax-exempt organizations

Although tax-exempt organizations are generally not liable for income tax, they still need to file annual statements with the IRS and, if they solicit charitable donations, with the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Tax-exempt organizations must also file a certificate of continued existence with the Ohio Secretary of State every five years. Our corporate law attorneys can help you understand how these requirements affect your organization.

Even if an organization is tax exempt, it may be liable for income tax and subject to additional reporting requirements if it has more than $1,000 in annual unrelated business income. The business attorneys at Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. can help you determine if a planned activity generates unrelated business income that could incur this additional tax liability.

Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. can help you form and manage your not-for-profit organization

Our attorneys at Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. provide comprehensive legal counsel regarding all aspects of non-profit law for businesses operating in Ohio and throughout the USA. For more than 160 years, we've been providing legal services to corporations, non-profit companies and businesses of all sizes in Ohio and throughout the world. Contact us and find out more about how we contribute to your success.