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May tax preparer partner with nonprofit?

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May tax preparer partner with nonprofit?

A nonprofit organization wants to partner with me in a situation where I would provide my tax preparation services to individuals attending an event and have the individuals pay me directly at a discounted rate. The nonprofit will secure the location under its name and run the event. Is this legal and if it is, should I be collecting fees directly? Also, how should a contract be set into place?

It is not at all unusual for nonprofits to obtain “deals” from vendors to provide goods or services to their members or other special groups at discounted rates. Assuming that you are not employed by someone who puts an external constraint on how much you may charge for your services, you can agree to charge whatever you want, or, like volunteer doctors in disaster areas, give your services away without charge.
 
Nonprofits increasingly talk about “partnering” with others, but the relationships are usually not partnerships in a legal sense. In this situation, you would be providing professional services to “your” clients, with all of the professional responsibility that entails. The primary difference is that you would be charging less than you normally do.
 
It might be a good idea to have a letter setting out your fee schedule, the volume of work you are willing to handle under the arrangement, and any other expectations that one of you has for the other. It doesn’t seem to be an absolute necessity but it could avoid later misunderstandings.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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