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View Full Version : Calguns Foundation Receives IRS 501(c)(3) Status


hoffmang
08-24-2009, 12:23 PM
The Calguns Foundation received our official notification from the IRS that we have qualified for the tax exemption under 501 (c) (3) as a public charity. The notification was dated 8/14/2009 and is fully retroactive.

What this means for you: If you've ever donated (http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/donate) to CGF, you can claim that donation as a tax exempt charitable donation or rest easily that your earlier exemption claim is correct. That treatment is retroactive to our founding in March of 2008. This also means that if you have a donation matching program at your employer, CGF is now fully qualified to receive those matching corporate donations. If you've held off to take advantage of your company's matching funds, now is the time to start that paperwork.

We will be pulling together a "Thank you" letter campaign for anyone who exceeded $200 per calendar year in donations (which is the level above which you need documentation to take the deduction.) If anyone else who has donated needs or wants a thank you letter for their records, please email hoffmang@calgunsfoundation.org and we'll take care of it.

This also brings up that there is no better time than now to donate to CGF (http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/donate). With cases like Sykes (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Sykes_v._McGinness) and Peņa (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Pena_v_Cid) underway and our ongoing successful defenses of falsely accused gun owners, your donations go directly to the front line fight for gun rights!

-Gene

technique
08-24-2009, 12:24 PM
Its about time....

Maltese Falcon
08-24-2009, 12:30 PM
Excellent!! Donation inbound!

hoffmang
08-24-2009, 12:32 PM
Its about time....

We filed with Fed and State just after New Years Day. State responded in 60 days...

-Gene

tango-52
08-24-2009, 12:39 PM
Very good! Point of clarification please. As a 501c3, can CGF be politically active without threatening the tax-deductability of donations? I can see how it would be fine if all CGF was doing was covering peoples legal costs, but where is the line on when legal cases become political activism? Or is that solely on campaign contributions?

hoffmang
08-24-2009, 12:45 PM
Very good! Point of clarification please. As a 501c3, can CGF be politically active without threatening the tax-deductability of donations? I can see how it would be fine if all CGF was doing was covering peoples legal costs, but where is the line on when legal cases become political activism? Or is that solely on campaign contributions?

As currently structured, CGF can not advocate for or against candidates for public office. Supporting or opposing proposed legislation is a bit of a gray area and CGF has opted to stay clear of that issue at this time. Public interest litigation, however, is fair game as is weighing in on administrative rule makings and other things that impact our donors/supporters. This is why CGN != CGF. Also, to add some clarity, as soon as bad legislation passes, we can litigate against it - but not until it's the law.

CGF can elect to spend a certain amount of it's funds on lobbying and maintain its tax deduction, but those fields seem well handled by NRA/CRPA for now.

-Gene

artherd
08-24-2009, 12:49 PM
Generally, The Calguns Foundation may not influence pending legislation and Political races. Lobbying in general is restricted and also cannot be our primary purpose.

We sure as heck can SUE to eliminate bad law - we are and will again!

That said, CGN is evolving into a very legitimate political tool for the grassroots community - and has no such restrictions on political races or pending legislation!

tango-52
08-24-2009, 1:02 PM
Thanks for the clarification. ;)

Scarecrow Repair
08-24-2009, 1:05 PM
We will be pulling together a "Thank you" letter campaign for anyone who exceeded $200 per calendar year in donations (which is the level above which you need documentation to take the deduction.)

If this is the letter showing how much has been donated for tax purposes, please make sure you only send it once at the end of the year. Some of my donations aperiodically trigger monthly thank you letters, really annoying as a way of wasting my donations. Once I complain, they stop for a year or two, then probably a change of low level staff finds -- horrors -- all those months of unthanked donations.

sorensen440
08-24-2009, 1:08 PM
great news !

radioburning
08-24-2009, 1:16 PM
I wish I wasn't drowning in bills right now. It's been a while since I've been able to donate.

trashman
08-24-2009, 1:21 PM
Congratulations guys --- this is great news and I'm sure a lot of 'elbow grease' was responsible to keep the application moving through the system.

I greatly appreciate the personal time and effort you guys on the Board continue to expend on the RKBA cause.

--Neill

Davidwhitewolf
08-24-2009, 1:24 PM
Been waiting to hear this. Great news!

gucci pilot
08-24-2009, 1:28 PM
Generally, The Calguns Foundation may not influence pending legislation and Political races. Lobbying in general is restricted and also cannot be our primary purpose.

We sure as heck can SUE to eliminate bad law - we are and will again!

That said, CGN is evolving into a very legitimate political tool for the grassroots community - and has no such restrictions on political races or pending legislation!

So, where does that leave us with regards to opposing legislation like AB 962? Is CALGUNS.NET separate from CGF? As a forum, are prohibited from political call to "arms"?

Can I donate ammo instead of $$$ and still get the deduction?:D

ke6guj
08-24-2009, 1:54 PM
Yes, Calguns.net is separate from CalGuns Foundation. Gene said CGN != CGF . CGN is not a 501(c)(3), so it is not restricted like CGF is.

artherd
08-24-2009, 2:03 PM
"Calguns.net" and "The Calguns Foundation, Inc." (a public benefit corporation) are completely separate entities.

They both just sound cool!

Furthermore, unless you're actually one of the 9 Directors of The Calguns Foundation, Inc., you're not restricted from doing anything :)

blackberg
08-24-2009, 2:11 PM
If this is the letter showing how much has been donated for tax purposes, please make sure you only send it once at the end of the year. Some of my donations aperiodically trigger monthly thank you letters, really annoying as a way of wasting my donations. Once I complain, they stop for a year or two, then probably a change of low level staff finds -- horrors -- all those months of unthanked donations.

This is a touchy subject, some donors WANT a letter each and every time, some dont want one at all. Depending on what DMS is being used, it can be easy or hard to do one and not the other.

I saw a letter once from a donor saying that if the charity sent ANY additional mailings to the donor he would stop all donations forever and his donations where above the $200 mark. This has been my experience at other nonprofits.
-bb

blackberg
08-24-2009, 2:12 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot, Woot!

oh and PM inbound Ben.

-bb

AEC1
08-24-2009, 2:14 PM
Awsome!!! now can I sugest we attempt to get on the Combined Federal Campaign? It is the only way for federal empoyes to donate automaticly through payroll deduction.

blackberg
08-24-2009, 2:30 PM
Awsome!!! now can I sugest we attempt to get on the Combined Federal Campaign? It is the only way for federal empoyes to donate automaticly through payroll deduction.
Unfortunately I believe the CFC requires the nonprofit to provide service in several states to qualify, at most the CGF can claim 2, CA and DC maybe.
Ill double check and let the CGF know either way.
Actually I was thinking of being nationally listed in which the above is true, but they do allow local programs as well. Either way it will be a while since they require a 990 to apply.

-bb

artherd
08-24-2009, 3:59 PM
Awsome!!! now can I sugest we attempt to get on the Combined Federal Campaign? It is the only way for federal empoyes to donate automaticly through payroll deduction.

Working on it! It will have to be after our FY though.

Black_Talon
08-24-2009, 4:21 PM
Hey that's great!

And to celebrate, I just sent you a donation. :)

TaxAnnihilator
08-24-2009, 6:14 PM
Congratulations. I hope you have very active exempt organization counsel to ensure CGF and CGN remain separate during these first 5 years, especially given the political climate of those who might seek to quiet the organization through the oppressive excise taxes levied on "slip ups."

Good luck. Keep up the good work.

trashman
08-24-2009, 6:44 PM
Awsome!!! now can I sugest we attempt to get on the Combined Federal Campaign? It is the only way for federal empoyes to donate automaticly through payroll deduction.

GREAT idea - glad to hear Ben and Co. are on it...

--Neill

AEC1
08-24-2009, 8:22 PM
I cant wait for the day that I can put CGF on my form. This year I think it is going to second amendment sisters or something like that...

artherd
08-24-2009, 8:39 PM
Congratulations. I hope you have very active exempt organization counsel to ensure CGF and CGN remain separate during these first 5 years, especially given the political climate of those who might seek to quiet the organization through the oppressive excise taxes levied on "slip ups."

Good luck. Keep up the good work.

Sure do! Check out: http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/board for starters. In addition to the 2 attorneys on our board, we have access to many more in the greater community. There are also captains of industry amongst our Directors, some of whom have been at the helm of regulated, even public, entities in the past.

Send me a PM or email to continue the discussion further.

Best!
-Ben

1SGMAT
08-25-2009, 12:03 AM
Outstanding.

SJgunguy24
08-25-2009, 1:30 AM
What about time we've spent volunteering for Calguns while working at gunshows?

DeanW66
08-25-2009, 2:44 AM
What about time we've spent volunteering for Calguns while working at gunshows?

Based on my experience with other 501C3 entities, no you can't claim your time. You can (carefully, fully documented) collect/claim your mileage and other miscellaneous expenses (meals while travelling, unreimbursed out of pocket expenses, etc.). Note: I am NOT a tax professional; I've also heard reports that these claims can be an audit red-flag.

Noah
08-25-2009, 4:04 AM
Congratulations CGF.

r1ghtw1ng
08-25-2009, 8:14 AM
Congrats CGF, does anyone know what the EIN/taxpayer ID is?

greasemonkey
08-25-2009, 8:51 AM
Based on my experience with other 501C3 entities, no you can't claim your time. You can (carefully, fully documented) collect/claim your mileage and other miscellaneous expenses (meals while travelling, unreimbursed out of pocket expenses, etc.). Note: I am NOT a tax professional; I've also heard reports that these claims can be an audit red-flag.

My taxes are done with my family business's accountant and you're correct, any non-reimbursed mileage/expenses incurred while going to, from or during volunteering for a 501c3 are tax exemptions. Like anything else you claim as an exemption, it's good to keep records of it.

A schedule, letter, email or some sort of documentation would probably not be a bad idea to hang onto. I like to keep an excel(or paper) spreadsheet to document exemption mileage, every time you make a drive to volunteer, go to a medical appt or job searching.

wildhawker
08-25-2009, 9:03 AM
What about time we've spent volunteering for Calguns while working at gunshows?

Those activities are not directly for CGF; further, as explained below, time is not deductible.

hoffmang
08-25-2009, 10:18 AM
Congrats CGF, does anyone know what the EIN/taxpayer ID is?

CGF EIN: 26-2794094.

-Gene

mgbebout
08-25-2009, 10:53 AM
That's amazing, congratulations.

Diabolus
08-25-2009, 11:36 AM
This is great news and I am attempting to submit a request at my corporate site to match my donation. Does anyone have the zip code for the Calguns Foundation?

artherd
08-25-2009, 11:53 AM
What about time we've spent volunteering for Calguns while working at gunshows?

The gunshow presence has been from Calguns.net - which is not a Charity.

Even if it was, generally donated time is not deductible.

artherd
08-25-2009, 11:57 AM
This is great news and I am attempting to submit a request at my corporate site to match my donation. Does anyone have the zip code for the Calguns Foundation?

From: http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/donate

The Calguns Foundation
3200 Bridge Parkway, Suite 202C.
Redwood City, CA 94065

For your records, CGF's EIN is: 26-2794094

greasemonkey
08-25-2009, 12:11 PM
Yep, CGF is still separate! And time only counts if you're a licensed business donating your services; but even at that, you're not really donating 'time', you're donating 'services'. So, I guess if you were a professional show booth management/operation company you could probably donate your services but in order not to get majorly flagged you have to be able to show a profit at some point with your business.

The IRS frowns on businesses that claim charitable donations on zero or negative profit, unless you donate heavily to a tyrannical politician, then it's okay.

Anyway, glad you guys got the 501(c)(3) status, there are a few people I know who already wanted to donate, so I guess this is just a little bonus for them!

CoinStar
09-03-2009, 1:05 PM
Credit where credit is due:

Since I was one who occasionally asked about the tax-exempt status, I'll give some kudos to this finally coming to pass. If nothing else, this adds more legitimacy to CGF and is an all-around positive.

redline
09-21-2009, 6:36 PM
Work started its 2010 drive for charitable contributions which go through monthly paycheck deductions. I signed up with Calguns as the recipient. Keep up the good work!

bradph
09-22-2009, 9:10 AM
I just donated, not a lot of money but I hope every little bit helps. Will try to donate more in near future.

Brad