USS Rankin (AKA-103)
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Tax Exemptions for Armed Forces Reunion Groups
Many reunion groups would like to be tax exempt nonprofit organizations, but aren't entirely sure how to get that status. Qualifying costs some money and takes some effort, but it's quite worthwhile and really not very difficult. This page, based on our own recent experience, provides basic information about getting tax exempt nonprofit status. We'll be happy to provide more information, as mentioned at the bottom of the page.

The USS Rankin Association is a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code. That section provides tax exemptions similar to those of the more familiar Section 501(c)(3), but is limited to Veterans' Organizations that meet certain qualifications. We believe that most armed forces reunion groups can easily meet those qualifications. We also believe that the  501(c)(19) status is easier and less troublesome to get than is 501(c)(3).

There are two aspects of tax exemptions: exemption from paying federal income tax, and the treatment of donations as charitable deductions on the donor's federal income tax return. The former comes automatically with 501(c)(19) status, but the latter requires certain restrictions on membership. In our case, we met those restrictions by properly crafting our Bylaws, a copy of which is available as described below.

The basic information about getting tax exemptions is found in IRS Publication 557, Tax-Exempt Status for Your Organization. This and the other IRS materials mentioned here can be downloaded from the Internet at www.irs.gov

We used IRS Forms 1024 and 8718 in our application . At the time of this writing, IRS Package 1024 included these forms, instructions for filling them out, and other useful information. You can download it from the Internet as shown above.

Form 1024 asks for a lot of information about your organization. Once we had gathered that information, the application process was fast and relatively painless.

If your group would like to see the actual paperwork involved in getting our exemption, just send us an email telling us who you are and why you are interested. We can send you a PDF file of our completed application and its approval, including  the following items:

Form 1024, the basic application form. We filled ours out online, then printed it out for signature.
Form 8718, a form that must accompany your application.
Our Articles of Incorporation. (We are incorporated as a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation).
Our Bylaws. (They are thorough and very carefully written.)
Copies of our membership solicitation materials.
Copies of various publications we have produced.
A schedule of the revenue derived from our activities.
The IRS acknowledgement of receipt of our application.
Our IRS determination letter. This is the official documentation of our tax exempt status.