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May non-exempt animal rescue accept donations?

Your Legal Questions Answered

May non-exempt animal rescue accept donations?

Our horse rescue is not recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization anymore. May we still accept donations but tell the person that they are not tax deductible? We are currently lowering our inventory and the question has been raised.

Yes.  You may accept non-deductible contributions and you should tell the donors that the gifts are not deductible.  In fact, if your organization has gross receipts (not gross contributions) of more than $100,000 in the year, you are required by the Tax Code to notify the donors of the non-deductibility.

Just because the gift is not a charitable contribution, however, does not mean that you can forget the charitable solicitation registration laws that may apply to your organization.  If you solicit contributions for a charitable purpose — and taking care of rescued horses sounds like a charitable purpose — you may be required to register for solicitation purposes even though you are not exempt.  Coverage of the charitable solicitation registration laws is not limited to 501(c)(3) organizations; the laws cover anyone using a charitable appeal in an ask.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Animal rescue work is so clearly charitable and deductible to donors -- these folks should hook up with a fiscal agent or become a program of an existing charity, do SOMETHING to regain exempt status. It's nuts to be asking for nondeductible donations when hundreds of other horse rescue groups offer deductibility.

There are people that want to help and can but are not interested or cannot found an actual non-profit organization. There are others that know and will support them but are not concerned about deductions. Dissuading an honest, caring person from helping animals by saying they are Nuts is not productive. I salute and support organisations that operate outside of government regulations.

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