New Mexico Woodturners Is Now a Federal Non-profit Organization

We are pleased to announce that as of November 10, 2014, New Mexico Woodturners (NMWT) is now a Federal Tax Exempt 501(c)(3) Non-profit Organization. Thanks to the hard work of our Secretary, Larry Linford, the application and other documentation was submitted this year, and we were notified on November 25, 2014, of the approval, effective on November 10. Further action is now underway to apply for New Mexico State Non-Profit status, and an exemption from New Mexico Gross Receipts tax on purchases made by NMWT. Those applications require Federal Non-profit approval and can now proceed.

What does this mean to NMWT and its members? Effective November 10, members and non-members can contribute goods and monetary contributions to NMWT and they will be considered Federal tax free contributions when filling out Federal tax returns. Due to the relatively small size of our organization, the filings and annual paperwork are relatively uncomplicated, and will not be a burden to the organization in the future.

How will contributors be able to declare these deductions? There are two general categories of contributions, monetary and goods. Each is described below:

Monetary Contributions are any cash, check, or other means of transferring actual cash value to the club, where there is no direct value received in return. Annual membership dues, for example, are NOT considered contributions, since members reasonably expect value in return, such as attendance at meetings and workshops, use of club property (lathes and equipment, library DVD’s, etc.), free attendance at the visiting professional demonstrations the club pays for, and other benefits of membership. The basic fee for attending guest professional workshops (generally 1⁄2 the professional’s fee) is also NOT deductible, but any contribution beyond the basic attendance fee IS. Other examples of monetary contributions include periodic cash contributions such as annual gifts and one-time contributions, waiving the $100 fee paid to meeting demonstrators, and other waiving of reimbursement for expenses incurred on behalf of NMWT. The club Treasurer will keep track of these monetary contributions and issue an acknowledgment letter to the contributor at the end of the tax year (December 31). This letter will serve as proof when individuals file their taxes. It is critically important to let the Treasurer know of your intention each time a contribution is made, so none are omitted at the end of the year. NMWT will issue only one letter per year listing all monetary contributions from any single individual.

Non-cash or Goods contributed include all other items or services provided to NMWT. Also broken into two general categories, they are Goods and Services. Since the contributor establishes the value of any non-monetary contribution, it is up to the contributor to keep records sufficient for their own personal tax filing. NMWT will issue a written acknowledgement of a contribution for the contributors’ convenience, if requested, but cannot place any value on the items received. The written acknowledgement is similar to that issued by Goodwill Industries, the Salvation Army, and other non- profit charities that accept donations. By Federal Tax Law, the contributor is responsible for seeking professional tax advice on their own. The topic of goods donations are listed in the various Federal 1040 forms, and information is provided with those forms to assist tax payers in listing these contributions, classification of used or new items, methods of determining value, and other related topics.

Some Examples of Goods that may be important to members are: New or used items, tools, wood, books, equipment, supplies, etc., that are donated at each meeting for the Silent Auction that benefits the Red Hollenbach Scholarship Fund. When sold, the proceeds from these monthly auctions are, in effect, donated to the club, and the amount of sale proceeds MAY be one way to determine their value. Tax law provides several ways of determining value besides a sale amount. In addition, any items, new and used, that are donated to the raffle are also considered contributions with the raffle proceeds being income to the club. For these and other contributions of new or used items, as noted above, a letter of acknowledgment will be provided to the contributor, if requested at the time of donation. Unfortunately, the purchase of raffle tickets is not a deductible contribution.

Services Donated are not discussed in this announcement as they can be fairly complicated. If such donations are anticipated by anyone, we recommend they consult a tax professional directly.

The Very Good News to the club with our becoming a Non-profit organization is that we are now able to solicit contributions from other businesses and individuals to support the educational services and activities we provide that benefit our community. In addition, members now have added incentive to contribute new and used goods to the Silent Auctions and Raffles, knowing that they can receive at least some tax benefit in return.

Questions on any issues related to this new tax-exempt status should be directed to Larry Linford. Having spent a bit of time working on this issue with Larry, I know how much time and effort he put into

the process during the past year. Please join me in thanking and congratulating him! John Ellis