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Nonprofits face looming tax deadline

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The final deadline for North Dakota's small nonprofits to file returns with the Internal Revenue Service is Oct. 15, according to a press release from the North Dakota Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

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The state's smallest nonprofit groups were required to file an annual IRS return for the first time this year by May 17 or risk losing their tax exempt status.

However, more then 1,200 organizations in the state, including more than 30 in Dickinson did not meet the deadline, so it was extended.

"If they don't file by this new deadline of Oct. 15, then the IRS will be going through the list and starting to revoke tax exempt status for those who haven't filed," said Dana Schaar, executive director of the NDANO. "The list of those organizations who have lost their tax exempt status would be available sometime in early 2011."

Donors who contribute to at-risk organizations will be protected until the final revocation list is published, she added.

Dan Kovash, treasurer of the nonprofit Dickinson Baseball Club, said the group has to file every year, because they're a larger organization.

He hasn't filed yet, but plans to do so soon, since he knows losing their tax exempt status would negatively affect the group.

"We'd have a big issue," Kovash said. "If you take away our non-profit status, we don't have the ability to probably go raise money to fund baseball."

IRS information shows Dickinson has 65 nonprofit organizations, Schaar said. However, that number only includes larger charitable nonprofits.

According to 2006 data there were 42 larger nonprofits in Stark County, she said.

Many of the organizations that did not file may no longer be operating, Schaar said.

Since small organizations never had to file annual documents with the IRS they would remain on the IRS rolls indefinitely after ceasing operation, unless someone updated their status with the agency.

The IRS has no record that the organizations on the list filed the required returns for any of the past three years, according to the press release

The names and last-known addresses of the at-risk organizations, along with instructions on how to come back into compliance can be found at www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id225889,00. html.

Those with questions can call the IRS at 1-877-829-5500.

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