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October 16, 2019

Counting on Donations: IRS Proposal Could Change How Charities Collect Info

The cleanup from the holiday is under way, and so is the clean-out of unwanted items that will make their way to nonprofits in North Carolina.

As the tax year comes to a close, folks are making last-minute donations to charities, but an Internal Revenue Service proposal could prompt some nonprofits in future years to collect the personal information of donors who give gifts valued at more than $250.

David Heinen, vice president for public policy and advocacy with the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, says collecting personal information such as Social Security numbers could create a financial and temporal burden for organizations.

“It’s going to create new work for nonprofits,” says Heinen. “Create new costs and new liability by having to put in place new procedures to do this, and then the liability of maintaining those and the concerns about identity theft.”

In addition to the cumbersome job of managing and protecting donor data, it could make it difficult for some nonprofits to secure board members, who are concerned over the liabilities involved.

As with any collection of your personal data, you will be made aware of its collection and use. Supporters of the proposal say it is needed because currently not all taxpayers file the proper paperwork for donations.

If put into place, the proposal would be optional for nonprofits to participate, but Heinen and others still are concerned about the ramifications.

“The concern is once a new procedure is initially put in as voluntary by the IRS, that at some point it becomes mandatory, or it is perceived as best practice for nonprofits, which it shouldn’t be,” says Heinen

The IRS received public comment until the 16 of this month. An announcement is soon expected about whether the proposal will be put in place as an option for nonprofits.

About The Author

Andy has worked in broadcasting around Western North Carolina over the last 17 years. He serves as the Operations Manager and Program Director for WRGC and WBHN. “I’ve been with the crew here at Five Forty Broadcasting since the idea of bringing the station back to Jackson County at 540-AM. I feel a personal connection with community radio and the area”. In the past, Andy has worked with iHeart Media and Sky Country Broadcasting. He resides in Haywood County.

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