Tri-State Alliance calls itself not-for-profit, but it’s not in the eyes of the IRS. The organization’s 501(c)(3) status was revoked on May 15, 2017.
It calls into question every dollar donated since the revocation was posted in February this year.
According to IRS records, TSA lost its nonprofit status for failing to file a Form 990 document for three consecutive years.
Nonprofits use 990’s to disclose their finances to be tax-exempt.
IRS records show TSA failing to submit a 990 in 2014 and 2015. It is possible the 2016 form was submitted after the tax deadline.
In its 2013 filing, TSA President Wally Paynter asked for an extension. Those same documents aren’t seen in the 2016 filing.
According to the National Council of Nonprofits, Federal law requires automatic revocation after three years of failed filings. There are no exceptions.
“It makes me feel really bad for the youth that do count on the TSA,” said Maxwell Hedon. He isn’t a TSA member, but he is involved in the LGBT community of Evansville.
Hedon feels for people who may not know what to do. “What kind of misconduct has not been released, but it leaves a lot to the imagination to wonder.”
Organizations are subject to back taxes if their nonprofit status is revoked. Donors also aren’t eligible for tax deductions after the revocation date.
TSA last filing was for 2016 with $112,000 in revenue.
Since TSA lost is 501(c)(3) it has held several fundraisers, including one of its biggest, the Celebrity Dinner at the Holiday Inn. Hundreds of people regularly show up for the HIV benefit.
It would take an effort from TSA to get its nonprofit status back. The IRS does not list a reinstatement date.
Hedon plans to have a meeting on Sunday for members of TSA who, he says, may feel victimized. It’s at 6 p.m. at Sauced in Haynies Corner.
“There are so many youths that are in these weakened positions that need help, they’re seeking out someone please help, and with these allegations of misconduct it makes me wonder, are they safe there?”
Phone calls and text messages to Paynter have not been returned.
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(This story was originally published September 13, 2018)