DURHAM, N.C. — The director of North Carolina’s statewide Pride parade and festival has revealed the organization is out of compliance with their IRS filings.
On March 10, qnotes sent out its first-ever Community Assessment Survey and 990 requests to 22 LGBT non-profits and AIDS service organizations across the Carolinas. Forms 990 are the tax filings non-profit organizations with incomes over $25,000 must submit to the IRS each year.
After receiving the 990 request, NC Pride Fest and Parade Director John Short called qnotes on May 4 and said the organization did not have the necessary documents to disclose.
“Your email caused me to realize that I’ve made some oversights and we are technically out of compliance with our IRS filings,” he said.
Short, who has directed the more than 25-year-old event under its current legal entity for the past decade, said he has hired a certified public accountant to work on the missing 990s and said he would be willing to send qnotes any of the 990 forms once they are completed.
“[The accountant] is starting work next week,” Short said. “We’re going to go through everything and bring everything back up to compliance with the IRS.”
Organizations with incomes under $25,000 are not required to file 990 forms, and instead file an “e-postcard” each year. Short said he believed NC Pride, officially the “Pride Committee of North Carolina,” will be required to file the 990s.
Short declined to say how many years his organization has missed filing their annual tax returns. According to IRS.gov, IRS regulations stipulate a loss of tax-exempt status for organizations who fail to file the required documents for three consecutive years.
But, even if NC Pride is out of compliance not all hope is lost. Beth Sitton, a certified public accountant who works with non-profits, said organizations facing filing problems can usually work with the IRS to get back on their feet.
“They will work with them if an organization is making an effort to get their records caught up and their filings caught up,” she said. “If the organization is not making a concerted effort, they will look at that unfavorably.”
qnotes contacted IRS Carolinas media spokesperson Mark Hanson for general comments on IRS practices regarding out-of-compliance non-profits. He declined to comment.
“The IRS is not permitted to discuss a particular or specific taxpayer’s tax matter or their taxes based on federal disclosure regulations and federal law,” Hanson wrote in an email. “Furthermore, it would be inappropriate for the Internal Revenue Service to provide comment on any real examples, hypothetical examples or suppositions regarding a taxpayer or taxpayers.”
Short said some work toward repairing past mistakes has already begun.
“[The accountant] is putting in an extension for this year so that we are still within bounds for that,” Short said. “I feel confident that everything will be in tip-top shape.”
He concluded: “I feel like I’ve let myself and others down by having to go through this, but we are going to get it solved and get it fixed and taken care of.” : :
[Ed. Note — This article is part of qnotes‘ upcoming, in-depth report on 22 LGBT community non-profit organizations, AIDS service organizations and Pride festivals across the Carolinas. The rest of these reports and features will be published in our May 15 print edition, as well as online.]