Scores of South Florida charities have lost their tax-exempt status -- from a Miramar PTA group to aSunrise women's club -- because they did not file annual reports for three consecutive years, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Donors now won't be able to deduct contributions they have made to the groups as of last Thursday on their 2011 federal income tax, said Plantation-based IRS spokesman Michael Dobzinski.
It is part of a national purge of mostly small charities that the IRS believes are now defunct, based on them not filing the required yearly reports, Dobzinksi said. Nearly 14,000 Florida charities lost their tax-exempt status, including many in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, according to an IRS list.
Groups with gross incomes smaller than $50,000 in 2010 can regain their tax-exempt status by applying to the IRS and paying a reduced fee of $100. The usual fee could be as much as $850, according to the IRS.
Those who lost their tax-exempt status include aSunrise women's group, the Pythian Sisters, whose treasurer, Myrna Boltin, said Monday she filed a form in 2010 but not for previous years.
“I didn't know I had to,'' Boltin said.
Dobzinski said her group will have to apply again.
Also on the list was the PTA Florida Congress at the Coconut Palm Elementary in Miramar, 13601 Monarch Lakes Blvd.
The school's bookkeeper, Maria Delgado, said she believed the IRS meant the school's volunteer PTA that raises money to help Coconut Palm's pupils. But volunteers “do their own bookkeeping” and their financial and administrative records are not located at the school, Delgado said.
The new PTA treasurer, Dyanne Baro, said there had been accounting problems in the past but she thought they had been rectified. She said she will now look into the matter.
Groups that lost their tax exemption include a wide range from an Kiwanis outlet in Miami to Jesus for Haiti in Lake Worth and the Florida State Association of Porcelain Artists in Palm Beach Gardens. In Broward, the Academy of Florida Management in Fort Lauderdale was stripped of its exemption as was Affirmative Cancer Therapy in Tamarac and Abundant Life Health & Fitness in Weston, according to the IRS.
A complete list of the charities that lost their tax-exemption can be found at SunSentinel.com/charities -- click on Florida.