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IRS Updates Policy Regarding Racial Non-Discrimination Policy Notices

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), via new guidance issued in May of 2019, has added an additional way for private schools to publicize their racially nondiscriminatory policy to the general public. The agency now says a website statement is considered to be a suitable method for providing notice.

This development should be carefully considered by all privately run schools and preschools, including ones operated, supervised, or controlled by churches and other religious organizations.

Current law requires a private school to file an annual certificate of racial nondiscrimination (IRS Form 5578) with the IRS, and maintain supporting records documenting compliance with the policy if they wish to retain their tax-exempt status. The certificate is due by the fifteenth day of the fifth month following the end of the organization’s fiscal year. For organizations operating on a calendar year this would be May 15 of the following year.

A private school is defined as an educational organization that normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of pupils or students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are regularly conducted. The term includes primary, secondary, preparatory, or high schools, as well as colleges and universities, whether operated as a separate legal entity or an activity of a church.

Source: IRS Revenue Procedure
2019-22 (2019)

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