In June, 2010, Agua Pura Para El Pueblo filed an application with the IRS for tax exempt status. Under Federal tax rule 501(c)(3), non profit charitable organizations can become exempt from paying Federal taxes. Also, private donations to these organizations are considered charitable gifts and can be a tax deduction to the donor.
Applying for tax exempt status can be a difficult and somewhat lengthy process. The government wants to be sure that the organization truly is non profit and has a legitimate charitable purpose. Working overseas as Agua Pura Para El Pueblo does adds extra complexities about finances and connections to other foreign organizations.
There are several benefits to having a 501(c)(3) status, perhaps the first being that it adds a stamp of approval. Our non profit has been thoroughly reviewed by the government and found to be legitimate and above board. It gives confidence to other organizations that they can associate and work with us on projects, and granting organizations can be assured that their donations will be properly used.
Also, as I mentioned having 501(c)(3) status allows Agua Pura to accept private donations that individuals can use as tax deductions on their personal and business income taxes. This is a benefit to both the individual and the organization.
Agua Pura has a number of interesting programs planned for the fall and we hope our review by the IRS will be completed this summer so that Agua Pura can begin raising funds.