We are happy to report that on April 22, 2014 the IRS reinstated Charleston Waterkeeper’s status as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The reinstatement is retroactive to the date of revocation. (See our previous statements about this issue here and here.)
The automatic revocation of our tax-exempt designation happened because we failed to file annual forms for years 2009, 2010, and 2011–the years during which we operated as a “project” under Waterkeeper Alliance’s fiscal sponsorship. After receiving our tax-exempt designation in late 2011, we neglected to understand our obligation to retroactively file required forms for these previous years.
On August 7, 2013, working with our CPA and general counsel, we submitted all required documentation to the IRS. Eight months later, on April 3, 2014, our application was assigned to an IRS agent for processing. On April 22, 2014, after review, our 501(c)(3) status was retroactively reinstated. Although it took the IRS much longer than the expected 90-day processing period to review our application, we are pleased to have this issue resolved. All Form 990s filed with and approved by the IRS are available for reference here: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
Throughout this process, we have continued to focus our energy and resources on our programmatic activities through education, outreach, and celebration of our collective right to clean water. We look forward to ongoing success and are incredibly grateful for your continued support and faith in Charleston Waterkeeper.