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Free IRS Training Available from Your Desktop


The IRS has taken its workshops and resources for small and mid-sized charitable organizations to cyberspace. The new on-line workshops and materials are free and completely anonymous; no registration is required to access them. Although the workshops and resources focus on issues related to 501(c)(3) organizations' compliance with the tax code, anyone can view them—in any order, as often as they wish—at Stay Exempt–Tax Basics for 501(c)(3)s.

Topics Covered

Stay Exempt–Tax Basics for 501(c)(3)s offers five interactive training modules:

  • Tax-Exempt Status–How can you keep your 501(c)(3) exempt?
  • Unrelated Business Income–Does your organization generate taxable income?
  • Employment Issues–How should you treat your workers for tax purposes?
  • Form 990–Would you like to file an error-free return?
  • Required Disclosures–To whom must you show your records?
The site's Resource Library contains summaries of each module, a glossary, and forms and publications for charitable organizations. An FAQs (frequently asked questions) link is available at the top of each page.

Real-Time Workshops

The IRS will continue to offer face-to-face workshops throughout the country. But, as Lois G. Lerner, director of exempt organizations, noted, "Because of the cost and time involved in producing the live workshops, we can offer only a few each year in major cities. With this new on-line program, anyone, anywhere can access a 'virtual workshop' whenever it's convenient for them."

Suzanne E. Coffman, February 2007
© 2007, Philanthropic Research, Inc. (GuideStar)

Suzanne Coffman is GuideStar's director of communications and editor of the Newsletter. She and a colleague attended one of the IRS's real-time workshops in April 2005. On a scale of one to five, with one indicating "not useful at all" and five indicating "extremely useful," they rated it a five.
Topics: Law and Regulations