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Can directors maintain privacy of personal addresses?

Your Legal Questions Answered

Can directors maintain privacy of personal addresses?

A public figure and I would like to establish a new nonprofit public charity. He and I and others intend to serve as directors on the board, but one of his great concerns is for privacy and security and non-disclosure of his home address and phone number. My understanding is that it is necessary to provide the officers' and directors' names on Form 990 as well as a contact address.  Do we have to give residence addresses? 

No.  The Form 990 requires only an address at which the officers and directors can be contacted, and the IRS is willing to accept the organization's address for this purpose.  As a public charity, you will probably have to register to solicit contributions in at least a few states, and all of the states accept the organization's address as well.

You may have an issue with your state of incorporation, which may ask for the residence address of each incorporator.  You can usually check that out in advance by merely looking at the registration form.  If your state asks for a residence address, you have a couple of alternatives:  using someone else as the incorporator (there are companies that serve that purpose) or not including the public official among the incorporators.  Not all of the initial directors have to be incorporators. 

You will have to have a registered address for the new corporation, but it doesn't have to be that of the public official.  It can be your personal address or that of one of the other incorporators, a real office address if you have one, a place that provides post office boxes for a small fee, or a company that provides registered office services.   In short, your public official friend’s concern with privacy should not present a problem.

More on Form 990 - Because most charity Form 990 tax information returns are instantly available on the Internet, they can be an organization's most important public relations document. Learn more by listening to our webinar on the topic - IRS Form 990: Public Relations Opportunity or Trap for the Unwary

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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