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As we begin to recover from the Christmas Holiday and ring in the New Year let’s continue on the topic of identity, credit card theft and credit card fraud. In our last Legal Corner session we discussed in some detail theft and fraud and what options you may have if you unfortunately become a victim. This week in the Legal Corner we will discuss some of the criminal charges associated with check and credit card theft, and the consequences. In North Carolina, there are charges of credit card theft, fraud, and forgery.

A defendant could be found guilty of financial transaction card theft if one of the following occurs. If her or she takes or withholds the financial card of another person, without the cardholder’s permission, with the intent to use the card, sell the card, or transfer the card to a third party. When a person receives a financial card that he or she knows has been stolen or mistakenly delivered or mailed from a financial institution, and intends to use, sell, or transfer the card to another person could also be found guilty of financial transaction card theft. Any person that uses a scanning device to read or access another person’s financial card number or encoded information with the intent to defraud the cardholder.

A defendant could be found guilty of forgery of a financial transaction card if one of the following occurs.   If he or she creates or falsely makes a credit card with the intent to issue the card to a third party for their use or in order to defraud any person that provides money, goods, or services.  When a person falsely encodes, duplicates, or alters the existing encoded information on a financial card with the purpose to defraud the user or any person that provides money, goods, or services.

A defendant could be found guilty of financial transaction card fraud when one of the following occurs. If he or she knows that they are receiving and actually uses the financial card without the cardholder’s permission in order to obtain money, goods, or services. Moreover, the cardholder could also be found guilty of financial transaction card fraud if he or she falsely reports to the issuer or any third party that the financial card is lost or has been stolen.

In North Carolina, each of these charges are considered felonies and therefore could involve serious punishment. Depending on the defendant’s criminal record, the punishment for these type of charges could include supervised probation or an active jail sentence. Additionally, the defendant could also be required to reimburse the money thatwas fraudulently taken by using the financial cards.

Unfortunately, when your identity has been stolen, it takes time to completely repair the damages and correct and clear all errors on your credit report. It is always important to be patient, and most importantly keep a record of all the calls that you make and any documents you may file. Moreover, in most cases the victim can pursue criminal charges against any person that obtains and uses their financial information without permission.  Be Informed. Be Prepared.

Stolen Identity

January 4, 2016

Last week in the Legal Corner we discussed how consumers can protect themselves from theft, fraud, and scams. Now let’s discuss identity theft and fraud and what options you may have if you unfortunately become a victim. In addition to consumer theft and fraud, identity theft and fraud is becoming a major financial issue for Americans young and old.

Identity theft and fraud occurs when someone obtains the personal information of another and uses it without their permission. Not only is identity theft and fraud a crime, but it can cause major financial issues for the victim. If you or someone you know discover that your identity has been stolen or your personal information has been used, there are certain steps you can take to begin repairing.

One of the first steps you should take is to contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report the theft or fraud. Next, you need to file a fraud alert with at least one of the three national credit reporting companies. Once you have filed a report with one company, that company will inform the other two companies of the alert. The initial fraud alert will prevent a thief from opening any additional accounts or continuing to use personal information. When there is an active fraud alert, a company must verify your identity before issuing any credit. Generally, the fraud alert will remain active for 90 days, and after the 90 days you can request another 90 days. After, you have filed a fraud alert, you need to request a copy of your credit report. You can obtain a copy of your credit report from any of the three national credit reporting companies, but generally you would make the request with the same company that you filed the fraud alert. You may also choose to contact the Social Security Administration, if you think someone has access and is using your social security number and contact the Internal Revenue Service if you think someone is using your tax identification number.

Once you have obtained a copy of your credit report, take the time to go through it carefully and check for any errors or mistakes. For example, make sure there aren’t any accounts listed that you did not open or any purchases that you did not make. If you see either of those things on your report, contact the credit reporting company immediately to file a dispute and contact the fraud department of the company that has listed the account or purchase. As you are contacting each company or business to report errors or theft, make sure you get copies of any applications or documents that the thief may have used in order to make accounts or purchases under your name.

Another major form of identity theft includes lost or stolen credit, ATM, or debit cards. You can limit your responsibility for unauthorized charges if you take the right steps immediately. The first step is to report a loss or stolen card immediately to the bank or credit company that issued the card. You need to report the stolen or lost card immediately, because certain federal laws will not allow companies to hold you responsible for any charges that occur after you report the loss or theft. Once you have contacted the bank or credit card company, send a letter just to confirm that you have called to report the loss or stolen credit, debit, or ATM card. Make sure you continue to check your bank or credit card statements regularly for any errors and continue to report them immediately.

Unfortunately, when your identity has been stolen, it takes time to completely repair the damages and correct and clear all errors on your credit report. It is always important to be patient, and most importantly keep a record of all the calls that you make and any documents you may file. Moreover, in most cases the victim can pursue criminal charges against any person that obtains and uses their financial information without permission. Next week in the Legal Corner we will discuss some of the criminal charges associated with check and credit card theft, and the consequences. As always contact an attorney for more detailed information or to assist you throughout the process. Be Informed. Be Prepared.

Hopefully, everyone has made their preparations and are celebrating the holiday season. With the holidays comes time with family, lots of food, gifts, and unfortunately constant theft. Technology is constantly changing and as a result, more opportunities become available to steal from or scam consumers. Particularly consumers are becoming exposed to credit card, banking account, and internet fraud.

If you are one of the millions who have begun using your email as a major source of communication, you could be exposed to phishing. Phishing is one of the major forms of scamming through the use of online technology. Phishing normally occurs through email and sometimes through text messages. When you receive emails stating you have won a contest or an email from a company asking you to confirm your personal information, they could possibly be phishing scams. Always contact any companies requesting personal information directly. This means call the company on the phone and speak to a customer service representative. If you have not registered or entered into a contest, more than likely it is a scam and you should not provide any form of personal information.

Additionally, be aware of any links you may receive in emails, even if they are coming from friends and family. Sometimes computer scammers are able to gain access to personal email accounts and will send out emails with viruses that will allow them to be able to obtain personal and private information. If you are not familiar with the link or if you receive an email with a link and no additional information, try to do additional research before clicking on the link. This may also apply to links in social media such as Facebook, funny websites, or links to shocking websites online. Computer scammers try to use these resources as distractions, so you are tempted to click on the link and they are able to download viruses. Virus protection software is the best form of protection. This software is able to detect something immediately and provide you with an alert.

Online shopping has also been a major tool used to steal money, banking, and credit card information from consumers. Be careful shopping online at electronic stores that you have never heard of or that you wouldn’t normally see, because they will use great deals as another form of phishing. Some individuals have gone as far as using the Better Business Bureau to gain the trust of online shoppers to buy big ticket items such as flat screen televisions at very low prices. Always go one step further and check before purchasing any of these items.

Similarly, actual online action sites are used in fraud schemes. Online auctions have become increasingly popular as a method to buy certain items at lower prices. Sometimes, items are used to trick consumers into wire transfer schemes or second-chance schemes. Wire transfer schemes involve misleading or fake ads for the sale of high-value items on popular auction sites. Once it catches the buyer’s attention, they are directed to pay for the item wire the money using a money transfer company. Once the buyer has wired the money they never receive the item and never hear from the scammer again. Second-chance schemes offers a bidder who lost in an auction another chance to buy that same time at a reduced price. Again, they will direct the buyer to pay for the item through a money transfer company, and never deliver the item.

There are numerous other scams and forms of identity fraud. Always be careful about sharing your personal banking and credit card information with anyone, including family and friends. If you ever have questions about a website or company contact the Better Business Bureau or the North Carolina Attorney General. As always, contact an attorney for additional information concerning possible fraud. Be Informed. Be Prepared.

For the past couple of weeks in the Legal Corner, we have discussed the adoption process, including its purpose and the major types of adoption in North Carolina. Throughout the adoption discussion we briefly touched on the topic of foster care.

This week in the Legal Corner, we will delve deeper into learning the various aspects of North Carolina’s foster care system.

In North Carolina, foster care involves providing temporary living arrangements for children that have been exposed to abuse or neglect, or children who may be dependent. Generally, in these cases the parents or relatives of the children are unable to care for themselves or the children properly due to certain circumstances such as drugs, alcohol or domestic abuse. When such cases arise, the issue is brought to the attention of the local Department of Social Services.

Once the Department of Social Services has to intervene on behalf of the child, a social worker is assigned to the case and will determine if the environment is safe for the child or children. If the social worker finds that the environment is hazardous or dangerous to the child’s well-being, then he or she will petition the court to have children removed from their current home and placed in DSS custody.

If the court agrees to remove the child and place him or her in DSS custody, the social worker will then find foster care or temporary living arrangements for the child. These living arrangements could be for a few days, a few months, and sometimes years depending on each individual circumstance.

Foster parents and families are required to obtain certain licenses and should receive additional training from the Department of Social Services in order to be considered as an option for placement. North Carolina law requires each foster parent to work through the licensing process and obtain a valid license before being allowed to care for other children.

Additionally, potential foster parents have to take at least 30 hours of training before receiving a foster care license. A valid license for foster care is issued by the North Carolina Health Department, and the Department of Social Services usually supervises and assists potential foster parents throughout the licensing process.

Once foster parents are appropriately trained and licensed, the Department of Social Services is then able to place any children in need within the foster parents’ care. When foster parents have children in their care, the state generally will provide certain benefits and resources in order to assist with the care of the children.

Some of the benefits include financial compensation for the foster child’s room, board, and other living expenses. Additionally, some foster parents are able to receive supplemental income if their foster child has certain special needs.

The purpose for foster parents and families is to provide temporary living care and living arrangements for children in need. However, the goal is always for foster parents and families to work with DSS and the biological parents in order for the child or children to be able to return home as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in a number of situations.

As always, anything involving state law or regulation can be complex. If you or someone you know has a question concerning the foster care process or is interested in providing a home for a child in need, contact an attorney and find out your options or your local Department of Social Services. Be informed. Be prepared.

Last week in the Legal Corner, we began a discussion on the adoption process regarding its purpose and some of North Carolina’s regulations. This week, we will delve deeper into to topic and explore the different types of adoption.

In North Carolina, there are three major types of adoption — agency adoption, relative adoption and step-parent adoption.

Agency adoptions generally involve children who are in the foster care system and in need of adoptive parents. In these cases, the biological parents of the child have terminated their parental rights. As a result, the child is placed in the state foster care system or relinquished to licensed private adoption agencies for placement with adoptive families.

The agency adoption process requires the adoptive parent to first pick an agency, whether county or private. Next, the parent must submit an application to the chosen agency. Once the parent has completed an application for adoption, the agency will review the application, assign the parent a social worker and then complete a pre-placement assessment or adoption home study.

Upon completion of the assessment, the assigned social worker will assist the parent with locating a child for adoption. When the social worker has identified a child for placement with the parent, the worker will assist in forming a bond between the parent and child and continue to supervise the relationship until the adoption process has been finalized.

Relative adoptions usually take place when the Department of Social Services has to intervene and remove the children from the biological parents’ custody. In these cases, the court will give the Department of Social Services the authority to place the children in permanent homes when the parents are unable or unwilling to exercise their parental rights.

In each of these cases, DSS will first make an effort to place the children with relatives such as grandparents, an aunt or an uncle. Once the child has been successfully placed in the home of a relative that has been approved by the department, additional effort is made to assist the relatives with adopting the child when necessary.

Step-parent adoption is one of the most common forms of adoption. This form of adoption permits the step-parent to have the same rights as the biological parents. Generally, these cases occur when a biological parent gets married or remarries and the spouse or step-parent chooses to formally adopt the child in order to legally obtain rights as a parent.

However, in order for a step-parent to have the opportunity to adopt their step-child, the following must occur. The step-parent must first obtain the consent of both their spouse and the child’s other biological parent or non-custodial parent. Furthermore, in most states, the law also requires the stepchild to consent to the adoption if he or she has reached a certain age during the adoption process.

Conversely, the consent of the non-custodial parent is not required if he or she has abandoned the child. In North Carolina, a child is considered abandoned by a parent when the parent willfully refuses or fails to provide adequate support for the child for at least six months.

Additionally, a parent has abandoned a child when he or she makes an effort to conceal or hide his or her whereabouts in order to avoid the lawful obligation to support the child physically and financially.

Once the other biological parent or non-custodial parent consents to the step-parent adoption, that biological parent abandons or gives up all rights and responsibilities as a parent to the child. In some cases, this may also mean that the non-custodial parent no longer has any future child support obligations.

As always, anything involving state law or regulation can be complex. If you or someone you know has a question concerning the adoption process or is interested in providing a home for a child in need, contact an attorney and find out your options or your local Department of Social Services. Be informed. Be prepared.

Last week in the Legal Corner, there was a brief discussion on the effects adoption could have in cases of a child’s inheritance from a parent or stepparent. Let’s explore the adoption process in a little more detail. This week in the Legal Corner, we will explore some of the laws and regulations that have an effect on the adoption process.

The process of adoption involves the lawful creation of a parent and child relationship between two individuals. This means that through the adoption process, an individual or non-biological parent can become the legal parent of an individual or non- biological child. However, in order for this process to be completely legal and without violating the biological parent’s rights, certain laws and regulations have to be followed.

In North Carolina, when the adoption process is completed and the adoption has been finalized, the parent and child relationship between the biological parent or parents and the child is terminated. Once the biological parent’s legal rights have been terminated, he or she has no additional rights or obligations to the child. The biological parents will no longer have a right to visitation or custody of the adopted child.

Since the adoption process involves such a permanent effect on the biological parents of the adopted child, North Carolina enacted certain laws that will protect the rights of the biological parents that will protect the child or children from unnecessary separation from their biological parents and that will protect the right of the adopted parents throughout the process.

Keep in mind that the entire purpose of the adoption process is to ensure that children who are unable to be cared for and nurtured in his or her current family environment are eventually legally placed in nurturing and loving family homes.

Once the adoptive parent or parents have received the final adoption decree, he or she also receives the same rights and responsibilities as a biological parent. Additionally, the adopted child also receives the same rights as a biological child would receive — this would include any inheritance or personal property.

Next week in the Legal Corner, we will cover in detail a few methods of adoption and how each method is completed through North Carolina regulations.

As always, anything involving state law or regulation can be complex. If you or someone you know has a question concerning the adoption process or is interested in providing a home for a child in need, contact an attorney and find out your options or your local Department of Social Services. Be informed. Be prepared.

Some of the previous Legal Corner topics centered on the importance of a will and an overview of the heirs who may inherit through intestate succession when there isn’t a will. Intestate succession is a process each state uses in order to distribute property when a person dies without a valid will.

This week, let’s address a few more issues that may arise in these instances. What happens when the deceased had a child out of wedlock or maybe has raised a child he or she never formally adopted? What rights will these children have if the deceased did not leave a will or died intestate? Unfortunately, these types of issues tend to arise in a number of estate cases.

A child is considered born out of wedlock when the biological parents of the child are not legally married when the child is born. In North Carolina, in matters related to intestate succession, a child born out of wedlock is considered the legitimate child of his or her mother. This means the child and the child’s descendants or heirs will have a right to the mother’s estate.

However, in order for a child to be considered an heir through intestate succession for his or her father’s estate, the law requires a little more. North Carolina law requires the child to be legitimized before receiving the classification of an heir through intestate succession.

In order for a child born out of wedlock to be considered legitimated by the father, one of the following must first be established: A person must be adjudicated as the father by a court or judge in an order, a person has personally acknowledged himself as the father of the child during his lifetime and the lifetime of the child in a written instrument such as a valid birth certificate, or a person has died within a year of the birth of the child and DNA testing has established the person as the father.

When a person acknowledges that he is the father of a child born out of wedlock in his certified last will and testament or in any of the aforementioned circumstances, a child born out of wedlock is considered an heir to the father’s estate and will be able to inherit through intestate succession.

In North Carolina, a child who has been legally adopted is considered an heir to his or her adoptive parents. This means the adopted child would have the same rights through intestate succession or the same inheritance as a biological child if the parent dies intestate or without a will. This law is generally applied in cases where both parents have adopted a child or children, and more commonly in cases where a stepparent adopts his or her spouse’s child.

Consequently, most blended families fail to realize some of these specific laws related to intestate succession. In most cases, stepparents believe marriage alone will allow stepchildren to be included as heirs to their estate.

There have been so many battles fought in court between biological children and stepchildren over the estate of their parents. Stepchildren feel entitled to an inheritance, especially when they were either raised by the deceased or formed a bond with that parent during their life. Additionally, in many cases the stepparent is unable to adopt his or her stepchild because this means the biological mother or father would have to terminate their parental rights.

These types of issues can always be avoided when parents make an effort to leave a will that specifically addresses what their biological children and stepchildren are entitled to receive.

As always, anything involving state law or regulation can be complex. If you or someone you know has a question concerning heirs to intestate property or if you aren’t sure if you are an heir or not, contact an attorney and find out your options.

There are various ways to resolve issues with intestate property once you know what you are up against. Be informed. Be prepared.

Though Domestic Violence Awareness Month ended Saturday, we will continue to discuss some of the topics involving the legislation enacted in order to protect victims of domestic violence. This week in the Legal Corner, we will end this series discussing the effects of domestic on children involved in these cases.

Unfortunately, in so many cases of domestic violence, children between the ages of 3-17 are also exposed to the abuse. This also means that children who are victims of and witnesses to domestic violence are not immune to the long-term effects of the trauma.

Generally, children who have been exposed to acts of domestic violence tend to stay on guard, are anxious and most times afraid. Additionally, children exposed to domestic violence remain stressed because they never know what may set the abuse off, and they are concerned about their personal safety and the safety of their loved ones experiencing the violence.

As a result of these negative effects and concerns for children exposed to domestic violence, North Carolina’s legislature has included more intense consequences and punishments for domestic violence perpetrators. Particularly, a person who commits acts of domestic violence can be charged with assault in the presence of a minor, in addition to any charges obtained for acts against the victim.

Moreover, any acts of domestic violence committed in the presence of a minor child are considered aggravating factors of the crime. This means once the abuser pleads guilty or is found guilty, he or she could face both supervised probation and active jail time.

Please remember that this information is only meant to inform our readers. This article does not include all of the detailed information and laws related to domestic violence and victims of domestic violence in North Carolina. If you have any additional questions about the North Carolina laws associated with protecting victims from domestic violence, please consult an attorney or a local counselor.

If you are in need of assistance with getting out of a violent situation, please call local law enforcement or the crisis line of our local domestic violence service provider, New Horizons, at 910-557-5684. As always: Be informed. Be prepared.

Over the last few weeks in the Legal Corner, we have discussed the topic of domestic violence in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Some of the topics involved the history and legislation enacted in order to protect victims of domestic violence.

This week, we will further explore the safeguards North Carolina legislators have established to assist in protecting domestic violence victims.

In North Carolina, the first line of defense for domestic violence victims are protective orders. However, there are quite a few other ways victims of domestic violence can protect themselves and their families. In some cases, victims of domestic violence need a second line of defense after obtaining a 50B protective order.

Unfortunately, some domestic violence cases involve the abuser actively stalking and harassing his or her victim. In those situations, North Carolina has certain laws to assist with providing additional protection. One of those laws is N.C. General Statute 42-45.1, which allows a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to terminate his or rental agreement early without penalty.

This law is meant to assist those victims who are in very dangerous situations and need to immediately move to a different location in order to protect themselves and their families. Particularly, this statute allows the victim of domestic violence (the tenant) to terminate his or her rental agreement after providing the landlord with written notice at least 30 days prior to the date of termination.

This means that tenants can legally cancel or terminate their lease agreement without paying any penalties and termination fees, if they have met the following requirements.

First, the tenants should contact the local domestic violence program or service provider to receive assistance with correctly filing the necessary paperwork needed to protect themselves and their families from the abuser. The provider will assist with creating a written safety plan for the victim.

Next, the tenant must provide a written document stating he or she would like to terminate the lease agreement. Additionally, the tenant must also provide a valid copy of his or her 50B protective order against their abuser. The 50B order has to be the final order and not the initial ex-parte order, and the order must have been obtained during the tenant’s current lease.

Lastly, the tenant must give all of this documentation to his or her landlord to effectuate the process of terminating the lease.

Once the tenant has provided all the required documentation to his or her landlord, the lease should be terminated. However, the tenant could still be liable for any past-due rent and any prorated rent up until the date of termination. Moreover, if tenants choose to sublease or allow someone else to take over the lease on their behalf (if their lease permits such an arrangement), they could still be held liable for any rent or damages as a result.

Please remember that this information is only meant to inform our readers. This article does not include all of the detailed information and laws related to domestic violence and victims of domestic violence in North Carolina. If you have any additional questions about the North Carolina laws associated with protecting victims from domestic violence please consult an attorney or a local counselor.

If you are in need of assistance with getting out of a violent situation, please call local law enforcement or our local domestic violence service provider New Horizons’ crisis line at 910-557-5684. As always: Be informed. Be prepared.

Domestic violence is a prevalent issue throughout the nation affecting individuals in all of our communities. As a matter of fact, domestic violence is not limited to a specific age, economic status, race, religion or nationality.

The month of October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So this week in the Legal Corner, we are going to begin discussing some of the history, issues and effects associated with domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month was derived from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981. The purpose of the Day of Unity was to provide an opportunity for sponsors and supporters working to end domestic violence to connect throughout the nation.

The Day in Unity evolved into an entire week full of activities on the local, state and national level specifically focused on the prevention of domestic violence. The first official Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed in October 1987. Additionally, in 1989 a public law was passed by the United States Congress establishing the month of October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In North Carolina, domestic violence occurs when someone deliberately intimidates, batters, physically assaults, sexually assaults or inflicts any other abusive behavior a loved one or intimate partner. Domestic violence can also include psychological violence and emotional abuse.

Many times, actions of domestic violence occur as a result of one person attempting to exercise some form of power or control over another person. In most cases, domestic violence consists of acts of abuse against children or persons involved in a relationship.

Most commonly, domestic violence occurs against women and children, however, every relationship and situation is different and in some instances men can become victims of domestic violence.

Domestic violence can have lasting effects on the victim’s life, and unfortunately in some of the worst cases, can eventually lead to the death of a victim. Even in cases where the victim is able to escape from the abuse, there are still some lifelong mental and, in many cases, physical effects of the abuse.

Please remember that this information is only meant to inform our readers. This article does not include all of the detailed information and laws related to domestic violence and victims of domestic violence in North Carolina. If you have any additional questions about the North Carolina laws associated with protecting victims from domestic violence, please consult an attorney or local counselor.

If you are in need of assistance with getting out of a violent situation, please call your local law enforcement or the local domestic violence service provider. As always: Be informed. Be prepared.

Over the last couple of weeks in the Legal Corner, we’ve discussed a variety of topics relating to legal considerations for farmers. This week, we are shifting our focus to the formation of nonprofit organizations and the important role they play in society.

The creation and development of quality nonprofit organizations is essential to the function of our society as a whole. Nonprofit organizations are able to fill a void in services and supplement the efforts of our government. The Congressional Research Service provided a report for Congress the fall of 2009 that provided a great overview of the impact nonprofit organizations have on our country’s economy.

Contrary to what some people may think, the nonprofit sector is not draining governmental resources. Rather, only 29 percent of funding for registered nonprofits comes from government sources. The majority of funding for nonprofit organizations is generated through their own services and donations from private individuals.

The nonprofit workforce is the third-largest behind retail trade and manufacturing. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.5 million registered nonprofit organizations in the United States. This figure does not include the vast number of grassroots organizations that are not recognized as a nonprofit organization by the Internal Revenue Service but contribute significantly to improving the quality of life of many people across the country.

The IRS gives a special designation for organizations that register as a nonprofit. This designation is a 501 c(3) and corresponds to the Internal Revenue Code that provides tax exemption for charitable nonprofit organizations. An organization can be a nonprofit without registering with the IRS but will not have the same benefits available to it as an organization that has gone through the process.

An organization seeking to register as a nonprofit organization must first do research to make sure their proposed organization’s mission is addressing a need of their community. Also, organizers should consider the amount and degree of funding necessary for them to effectively fulfill their organization’s mission. Careful consideration should be given to the organization’s charitable purpose because this is of particular interest to the IRS.

Lastly, the organization should take the necessary steps to secure a viable name for their organization, secure an EIN — employer identification number — and file the appropriate paperwork with the state of North Carolina. There are a host of other documents that organizers should draft to ensure their organization has a solid foundation for the anticipated great work they set out to complete.

These documents are bylaws, conflicts of interest polices and compensation policies. Once all paperwork is filed with the state, then the organization must make a filing with the IRS to be deemed a registered nonprofit organization under 501 c(3) of the Tax Code. There is a fee required for submitting the paperwork to the IRS.

There are a number of benefits for an organization seeking to be recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt organization. The main benefit is that the organization does not have to pay taxes like other corporations formed under different sections of the Tax Code.

Also, individuals who donate to a registered organization with the special 501 c(3) designation can take a deduction on their personal income taxes for their charitable contribution. Registration with the IRS can also make it possible for organizations to qualify for certain grants from government and private foundations that require the registration before they will award grant funding.

Please remember that this information is only meant to inform our readers. This article does not include all of the detailed information related to forming a nonprofit organization.

If you have any additional questions about necessary steps to form a nonprofit, registering a current nonprofit organization with the IRS and/or drafting internal documents for your nonprofit organization, please consult an attorney. As always: Be informed. Be prepared.