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Jack Simpson
12-08-2003, 02:32 PM
I decided to start this as a new thread as opposed to the "starting a new dojo" line and please forgive me if this is in the FAQ's somewhere.
Our dojo is now changing it's name and incorporating. Can anyone provide advice on seeking tax-exempt non-profit status? We've been non-profit up to now, but a branch dojo and so we haven't had to do our own paperwork. Do most folks do a 501(c)?, something else? Any and all advice would be welcome. The tax stuff is far more complex than ikkyo! Thanks much.

Jack :ai:
private emails can be addressed to:

Michael Young
12-08-2003, 11:05 PM
Hi Jack,

Congratulations on starting your new dojo...it looks like you have already read through the thread I started.

I have had experience at my old dojo in gaining 501(c)3 status from the IRS. It was a big hassle then, because they had not filed a tax return for over 7 years (since they had initially started). I got the very unfortunate job of going back and doing these tax returns, plus filling out all of the additional paperwork for the IRS. The good news is we were able to gain 501(c)3 status despite their procrastination. I am in the process of filling out the paperwork again for our new dojo. There are a lot of advantages to being 501(c)3, mostly tax-wise for yourselves, and you can recieve tax-deductible donations. Another advantage is the discounts that you may get for advertising and rent in some places.

The paperwork is readily accessible to you, just log on to www.irs.gov and go through the site to the forms and instructions links...you can download the application and instructions as PDF documents. You can also visit your local IRS office and obtain them there, and who knows, you might get lucky and find somebody helpful and friendly there to answer any questions (don't count on it though). I would highly recommend that you look through the instructions if you are planning to become 501(c)3 before you file for incorporation in your state. Filing for incoporation as a state non-profit is the correct first step, but there is some specifice language that would be very useful to have in your articles of incorporation that will help you when you apply for 501(c)3 status, and you will need to determine what type of 501(c)3 organization you want to be (I would recommend you incorporate as a school or educational organization, as this is what I have had experience with) If you like, I will be happy to e-mail you a copy of our Articles of Incorporation as an example, it has all the language you should need (feel free to plagarize). The next step after you are incorporated is to apply for a federal tax ID number, then after you obtain that, send in the actual 501(c)3 application. With the application, they will want to have copies of your "Articles of Incorporation", financial records, and by-laws. If you haven't set up by-laws already, that should be your first step...make sure that you stipulate in your by-laws that you have an member elected board of directors. Besides being essential for the 501(c)3 application, the by-laws will set forth the rules of how you run the dojo's "business" side. I will also be happy to e-mail you our by-laws as well, just let me know.

Best of luck to you and your dojo, and let me know if you would like to me to e-mail you the documents.


PS. Keep studying that Ikkyo...it get's more complex with time...or is it simpler, all I know is the more I learn, the less I know:D

Jack Simpson
12-09-2003, 11:04 AM

Sweeeeet! You're a god-send. First, thanks for all the useful info and YES!, I'll take email attachments, cut and paste, whatever, of anything you got, by-laws, incorporation, etc.

Also, would it be ok if I copy your post to the accountant that I have working on this and possibly forward your contact info to him. He's one of my students. Thanks again and good luck with things in San Antone', I love the River Walk.

Best Regards,

Jack :ai:

email to: jack@westernmarylandaikikai

PPS. Ikkyo is just one of the 5th kyu techniques I still can't do...

Jack Simpson
12-09-2003, 11:05 AM

ooops, the email should be


Thanks again.

Jack Simpson
12-16-2003, 08:10 AM

Thanks much for all the information and docs. This will help enormously in our efforts with the "tax-man".

Best Regards and happy holidays,


P.S. Thanks also to Jun for all the effort put forth for AikiWeb and the forums. It's an invaluble resource.

Jack :ai: