Thursday, May 1, 2008

IRS Rules on Charitable Gaming

The SCV GHQ recently disseminated information requiring camps and divisions to immediately cease holding any SCV sponsored raffles for fund raising. It is believed some additional information will help to clarify the IRS situation in which the SCV finds itself at the moment. Please understand this is not an IRS agenda against the SCV nor has the SCV GHQ created this dilemma. When the SCV’s old Mississippi Corporation was merged into a new Texas Corporation in 2005, the SCV was required to complete a new 501 c 3 application which was approved in August 2007 with the effective date made retroactive to 2005 when the corporate merger took place. The SCV has now had to reapply for its Group Exemption approval, and as a part of this effort we have been specifically informed by the IRS that the gaming prohibition includes raffles and bingo. SCV subordinate units must immediately cease conducting any raffles. Camps and divisions who wish to continue to have raffles may do so; but, only if they opt out of the SCV’s group exemption in writing, obtain a new tax ID number for their organization, then complete their own 501 c 3 application, and the IRS subsequently APPROVES the application. Even after this is accomplished, it is possible that your state may prohibit raffles. It is questionable whether or not it is worth the effort to do this at the camp level rather than camps coming up with alternative ways to raise funds. This 501 c 3 application process is onerous and additionally encumbered by the fact that there is a $750.00 fee that accompanies the application, and it does not appear to be refundable if the application is rejected.