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FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR FEDERAL AND STATE NON-PROFITS

Posted by on Mar 2, 2019 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE HEALTH, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 6 comments

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR FEDERAL 501 (c) AND STATE NON-PROFITS

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
for Allaboutcutting.net
March 2, 2019

Since my last article,  “WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NON-PROFIT AND A 501 (C) 3 NON-PROFIT,” released on February 24, 2019 on http://www.allaboutcutting.net, I’ve received a flurry of phone calls requesting guidance on acquiring financial information on a specific non-profit organization about whether it’s a Federal 501 (C) or a state-organized non-profit.  More specifically, the main topic of concern can be summed up into one question:  “Exactly, what financial records are nonprofits required to disclose to the general public, including donors?”

My research revealed that essentially, non-profits are broken down into two distinct categories: Federal non-profits and State non-profits. Federal non-profits are generally tax exempt, charitable organizations and are assigned the 501 (C) designation along with a number after the “C” such as (3) which correlates to its exact Federal non-profit classification.  For example, the 501 C (3) designation correlates to a charitable organization.

State non-profits are comprised of being either a Sole-Owned Proprietorship, a Limited Liability Company, a Corporation, etc. In most cases, the privately owned non-profit may choose to not apply for a Federal tax-exempt status and elect to remain a State non-profit.  For the record, each type of non-profit enjoys some tax-exempt status.  However, the main difference between the two non-profit organizations is that “each one adheres to different financial disclosure laws and requirements, but the Federal non-profit allows for tax write-offs”.

FEDERAL 501 C NON-PROFITS:

The Federal 501 (C) 3 etc., is only required to disclose to the general public certain financial records, via the IRS Form 990, which can be found on Guidestar.org. An excellent IRS publication on the subject can be found by clicking on the following link:

 

STATE-ORGANIZED NON-PROFITS:

The state of the organization of a non-profit will list each state’s specific requirements pertaining to the disclosure of financial and other information to the general public, if any. Generally, and as stated in the foregoing, state-organized non-profits are generally comprised of private ownership; therefore, disclosing finances to the general public are limited, if at all, and in some cases non-existent.  A privately held non-profit absent of the 501 C moniker, such as a Limited Liability Company, a Sole-Owned Proprietorship or a Corporation, enjoy the same privacy and nondisclosure laws as a private citizen owning a business of the same type, except in certain circumstances when state funding comes into play and requires reporting and an audit.  However, the non-profit moniker may subject the non-profit to a completely different set of parameters.  The safe avenue to proceed, in regard to investigating a specific non-profit prior to donating, that is in a specific state, is to contact the Department of Revenue or the Secretary of State in the state of its organization for the correct answers and guidance.

The “National Council of Non-Profits” has an excellent article on the subject entitled, “STATE LAW NON-PROFIT AUDIT REQUIREMENTS”.

Click on the following link and review this excellent article on the subject:

NEFARIOUS ACTS:

As previously reported, the Internet is chock full of examples of cyberbullying, harassment and nefarious acts,  including, but not limited to threats, extortion, coercion, slander and harassment of private individuals and horse rescues.  My queries included a myriad of social media examples of this unorthodox, criminal and in some cases, “the perception of possibly libelous behavior”.  However, in my few exchanges with such individuals, I determined their allegations to be completely unfounded and without legal proof or merit, In fact, most of my reviewed character assassinations were being disseminated by erroneous  “rumor-mill linguistics” and were not based on any factual, legitimate and legal proof of their reporting, which is simply harassment and cyberbullying at its finest. In fact, some of the methods used by certain individuals could be likened to the tactics used by the KKK or a terrorist organization.  In an abundance of caution, I would suggest for such individuals to cease from this unorthodox behavior prior to someone taking them to task with legal action – more specifically, having him or her arrested for criminal acts, filing a lawsuit against him or her or both.

As a former Drug Enforcement Agent and Law Enforcement Officer as well as a current Private Security Professional and Risk Manager/Analyst, my professional standings, in the community has dealt with a fact or fiction mentality. It’s sort of like a woman being pregnant:  Either she is is or she isn’t. There’s no in between.

However, it seems their “cover story” is that they are performing such nefarious acts for the sake of and welfare of the horse.  As a freelance writer, I’ve written a lot of articles on the subject of horse abuse as well as horse slaughter and not once have I ever “crossed-the-line” and succumbed to this type of nefarious and in some cases criminal and perhaps libelous behavior to make a point in a conversation.  More specifically, accusing an individual of specific allegations absent of legitimate or legal proof while using a “rumor-mill linguist,”cyberbullying, threats, harassment and extortion to ruin a person’s reputation is very much, and without question, violating the law.  All of my reporting has been performed with verified legal backup.

It’s also against the law to use unfounded allegations to character assassinate the owner of a non-profit horse rescue, in order to recommend a favorable rescue of their choice. 

HOW TO PICK A HORSE RESCUE TO DONATE TO:

In picking a horse rescue for donations, my main concerns would be:  How long has the rescue been in business, who owns the rescue, determine whether the horse rescue is a Federal 501 C non-profit or a state-organized non-profit, as well as the length of service in the business.  It would be prudent to visit with the rescue itself, (i.e.) on-site, as well as interviewing the owner. Also, it would be prudent to ask for a list of randomly picked references who could enlighten the prospective donor of the professional character of the organization.

Another prudent proposal to the donor is to suggest that he or she contact law enforcement and inquire whether or not any horse-abuse or animal-cruelty complaints have been filed against the rescue or the owner. The same goes for animal shelters and animal organizations in a particular area. If, by chance, the donor is contacted by one of these so-called self-proclaimed animal rights activists for the sole purpose of discouraging an individual from donating to a particular horse rescue, the donor should immediately request legal proof from the activist substantiating all allegations to corroborate his or her claim(s). If proof positive can’t be delivered, the donor should discard this information as being non-factual and non-relevant.

In order to verify a particular businesses 501 C or state non-profit status, simple Google Guidestar.org for Federal Tax Exempt status or the Secretary of State in the state of organization.

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle!”

Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved

RICHARD E. “RICK” DENNIS
WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC
MANAGING MEMBER
FREELANCE WRITER AND AUTHOR
PHONE:  (985) 630-3500
Email:  richardedennis@yahoo.com
Website:  http://www.richardedennis.net

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BINION LONG IN HOSPITAL FOLLOWING ACCIDENT

Posted by on Feb 26, 2019 in BREAKING NEWS, HEALTH AND WEALTH, INDUSTRY NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

WAYLAND AND LISA LONG’S SON IN HOSPITAL FOLLOWING ACCIDENT

Feb. 26, 2019

Binion Long, the son of Wayland and Lisa Long of Decatur, is in ICU at Harris Hospital in downtown Fort Worth following an accident last Tuesday when in the drizzling rain and dark of night he ran into the back of a semi-truck trailer just south of the ranch that was  making a delivery, but had no trailer lights on. 

“Scans show nothing broke but his pancreas enzymes were elevated, but did not rise through the night following the wreck,; however they are keeping him for further observation,” said Lisa.

“God has his hand on my son. Being in the biz, I have seen a lot of wrecked trucks and this was one of the worst,” said Lisa. “But after the response team got him cut out, he stood up and walked to the stretcher. God has something planned for this boy. Mark my words. Thank you for the flood of calls and please say a prayer that nothing takes a turn for the worse.”

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WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NON-PROFIT AND A 501(C)(3) NON-PROFIT?

Posted by on Feb 24, 2019 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FEATURE ARTICLES, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, RICK'S CORNER, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 4 comments

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NON-PROFIT CORPORATION AND A 501(c)(3) NON-PROFIT?

By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
February 24, 2019

DONATION WRITE OFF’S FOR TAX RETURNS.

On social media, a “Hot-Button-Issue” is being debated among horse enthusiasts. With specificity, the topic of conversation pertains to donating to horse rescues whose sole purpose is the care of horses no longer wanted by society, including horses who are abandoned, abused, rescued from the slaughter pipeline or in distress from sickness or disease. Aside from the welfare of the horse itself, the other main interest to the donor can be summed up in one question, “What’s the difference between a non-profit corporation and a non-profit corporation with an IRS 501(c)(3) designation?  More specifically, Which one allows the donor to write off his or her donation on their annual tax return filing? 

My due diligent research into this topic, included an Internal Revenue Service publication as well as similarly related internet articles. An excellent article on this topic is written by Sam Ashe-Edmunds from which excerpts are included in this article.

Non-Profit Corporation:
A non-profit corporation is a state entity that does not automatically come with a federal tax exemption. A non-profit corporation that has been given 501 (c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service is not only tax exempt but also allows donors to write off donations. Not every nonprofit organization needs to apply for federal tax-exempt status.

The first step in becoming a non-profit organization begins with a state registration as a non-profit corporation. The entity can make a profit but all of its profits must be put back into the corporation and no members may take profits from the organization. Individuals can be paid a salary, wages or contract fees but they may not take profits that the entity earns.

Each state has its own requirements for a non-profit corporation status and you can find the rules for your state by visiting the website of your Secretary of State. The process is usually simple, requiring paperwork you can file online for a small fee, which is usually less than $100. State non-profit incorporation does not come with federal tax-exempt status but the organization can apply for and receive some tax relief at the state level, such as sales or income tax. Simply stated, some state non-profit organizations never apply for federal tax-exempt status. Therefore, please consult with your Secretary of State in your State of organization.

Tax-exempt Status:
An organization might want to become a state non-profit corporation to avoid paying certain state taxes, never opting to become a federal tax-exempt organization. Once a non-profit organization has incorporated, it can file for a federal tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service or within its state. The IRS will review the application and determine what type of organization the entity is. The 28 different classifications include such categories as: charity, trade, research, civic and religious associations.

501(c) Status:
A 501 (c)(3) is considered a charity and the IRS allows donors to take a tax deduction for contributions of goods, cash and other assets. A 501 (c)(6) organization is a business entity that doesn’t necessarily seek to promote the public good but rather the interests of a select group of business people. Donations to 501 (c)(6) organizations are not tax deductible, which is why many trade associations set up 501 (c)(3) foundations. These related foundations solicit funds for scholarships, research or education.

Either type of organization can make a profit from its operations but if the entity consistently makes a significant annual profit, the IRS might remove its tax-exempt status. For this reason, tax-exempt organizations try to operate at or near a break-even basis. If you join a trade association, your membership dues might not be tax deductible unless you itemize your business expenses and declare your dues as an expense, not a donation.

Form 990:
Federal, tax-exempt organizations file an annual financial return to the IRS called a Form 990, which is available to the public each year. This document lists the organization’s board of directors, key employees, income, expenses, assets, mission and major activities. You can download a free copy of many tax-exempt organizations’ Form 990 at web sites such as GuideStar.org and FoundationCenter.org.

Verification of Status:
The easiest way to verify the claimed status of a specific entity is to contact the Secretary of State in the state of organization or directly contact the Internal Revenue Service.  If the organization is claiming a 501 (c)(3) status, just proceed to guidestar.org, enter the name of the organization and obtain the desired result in the search query. If the organization is a legitimate 501 (c)(3) and this organization files tax returns, it will show up here as legitimate.  If an organization previously holding a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status has lost its exempt status, this information will also be available to the searcher.

The final result is: There’s a lot of very fine horse rescues out there. However, the donor should perform due diligent research into an organization prior to handing over your hard-earned cash to help horses. During my research, I also noticed a lot of bashing by one rescue organization against another. In my opinion,  in some cases, it appeared some of this bashing was for the demise of one organization to support the favorable competition. In law enforcement, this cyber bullying could be interpreted as “impeding commerce” or a violation of U.S. Code 1951.

Interference With Commerce by Threats or Violence:
Whoever in any way or degree obstructs, delays or affects commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce, by robbery or extortion, or attempts or conspires to do so, or commits or threatens physical violence to any person or property in furtherance of a plan or purpose to do anything in violation of this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both.

As with all things.  “Trust, But Verify!”

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between the Bridle!”

Copyright 2019, all rights reserved

WIND RIVER COMPANY LLC
Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Freelance Writer and Author
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Email:  HYPERLINK Mailto: richardedennis@yahoo.com or richardedennis@yahoo.com
Web Site:  HYPERLINK http://www.richardedennis.net or http://www.richardedennis.net

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AQHA CONSIDERING A MOVE TO FORT WORTH

Posted by on Feb 21, 2019 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, HORSE NEWS, HORSE ORGANIZATIONS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

AQHA CONSIDERING MOVING HEADQUARETERS TO FORT WORTH

Feb. 21, 2019

According to a recent press release by Craig Huffhines, AQHA Executive Vice President. of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), there is a movement to move the association from their long-time home in Amarillo, Texas, to Fort Worth, which seems to be the center of the horse industry.  AQHA’s original headquarters were established in Amarillo; however, their initial meetings organized to form the Association were held in Fort Worth. So why shouldn’t their headquarters be in Fort Worth, Texas, the center of the Quarter Horse industry?

It seems like conversation on this fact has been going on for years. However recently the move has been rekindled, with “key industry stakeholders” trying to raise funds to support the move have accelerated.

Of course, such a move would take a lot of evaluation and economic consideration. But the consideration is becoming a reality as they claim their heightened level of work has temporarily stressed their daily workflow and turn-around time. The release claims their business is in transformation and they look forward to rolling out new member conveniences soon and improving their customer experience.

“AQHA is a business in transformation,” says Huffhines, “and we look forward to rolling out new. member conveniences soon. We remain focused on improving our service levels to a modern expectation and we are excited for you to see these improvements deployed in the coming months. In the meantime we will keep you informed as more information and understanding of this most recent development regarding Fort Worth evolves.”

I guess we will have to keep our eyes and ears honed in on the Internet! It might be smart to write a comment on how you feel about such a move. Who knows, it could help them make up their minds.

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DON AND JANIE VOGEL MAKE CUTTING HISTORY

Posted by on Feb 18, 2019 in BREAKING NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, FEATURE ARTICLES, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 2 comments

A COUNTRY VISIT!!!

By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 18, 2019

Nestled in the gently rolling hills landscape of Montague County, Texas sits a most picturesque and quaint cutting horse facility. The Vogel Vista Ranch. Recently I was lucky enough to receive a personal invitation to visit and tour a portion of the ranch with the owners; Don and Janie Vogel as my tour guides. I was accompanied by Richard E. “Rick” Dennis, who is a contributing writer to my online magazine: www.allaboutcutting.net, the Managing Member of the WIND RIVER COMPANY L.L.C.; specializing in Risk Management and Analysis. Rick has provided his expertise for the Vogels as well as Jandon Ltd.

Once we passed the entrance gate Rick and I hopped into the truck with the Vogels and the breathtaking tour began. I was instantly taken aback by the scenic and meticulously groomed landscape which resembled an ensemble of a National Park setting more than a horse ranch. Geographically, this unique property, is saddled between the West Crosstimbers and the Post Oak Savannah of North Texas. The long slow-winding drive, landscaped and sculpted largely by Mother Nature over eons is captured with a variety of trees, gorgeous age-old mottes of Live Oak, Texas Red Oak intermingled with mature groves of Pecan, Walnut, Hickory and other hardwoods to name a few. Don Vogel, with his evident attachment for trees, recounted seven different species of native oaks that grow on the ranch.

Patches of bluestem and other native prairie grasses and forbs thrive in the upland meadows along the meandering trail, finally giving way to sprawling creek bottomland. Here, this fertile soil produces improved grasses for livestock grazing and quality hay production. The viewer soon realizes a great deal of architectural engineering, possibly divine, was employed in the crafting and design of the property. More specifically, the landscape offers a pleasant and serene atmosphere for the embodiment of the visitor to enjoy on the way to the ranch house and barn as well as viewing the property. It’s sort of like seeing a piece of heaven.

A large lake sits at the back of the main house which offers a magnificent view from the interior of the residence. The great room is completely surrounded by an open window setting which provides a panoramic and peripheral snapshot of the lake and adjoining wooded areas. According to the Vogels the ranch is home to an assortment of wildlife including deer, turkey, quail, waterfowl, beavers, coyotes, feral hogs, badgers, and an occasional mountain lion.

HISTORY

Don and Janie Vogel are previous owners of NCHA Futurity Champions Stevie Rey Von and Auspicious Cat as well as other well-known cutting horses. To illustrate the business acumen of the Vogels, one only has to visualize their track record as seen in two endeavors: the private sector business and the cutting horse industry. First, they ran a highly successful business for thirty years which they subsequently sold. They then retired. Not completely satisfied with retirement, they entered into the Cutting Horse World where they made a remarkable appearance by owning a list of “who’s who” of cutting horses.

For the record, there’s a little unknown fact about Janie Vogel. She has dabbled in horses for years. Janie first proved her business savvy when she purchased a vested interest partnership in a group of horses which the Vogels later came to own outright. This purchase included NCHA Futurity World Champions Stevie Rey Von and Auspicious Cat.

In just a matter of days, Janie, in a feat of opportunistic brilliance, flipped this purchase for a handsome and satisfying profit.

TODAY

So what’s in the future for the Vogels? Although they are presently downsizing their equine operation, Janie’s face and eyes still light up at the mention of cutting horses. Or any horse. She just has a deep love of anything equine. So stayed tuned on that front. It’s my bet Janie will somehow remain involved whether for hobby or profit.

For now the Vogels continue attending to their small cadre of genetically powerful broodmares. The two yearling foals we viewed at their barn are representative of Janie’s sound breeding practices with her intention to breed good and possibly great cutters. The yearling stud colt and yearling filly are both out of powerhouse mares by NCHA Futurity Champion Stevie Rey Von. The Vogel’s breeding philosophy has been to breed the best to the best and hope for the best. Rick, who is also an AQHA Cow Horse breeder and Professional Reined Cow horse trainer is very impressed with the yearlings, their sire and dam, as well as the horses’ genetics and the direction and desire Janie and Don Vogel have taken to breed great cutting horses.

As for the Vogels, an individual will find it hard to exceed the grace, eloquence and character of Don and Janie Vogel.

  • Above photo is of Don and Janie Vogel, along with myself and my dog Billie.

 

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PROPOSED LAW WOULD MAKE ANIMAL CRUELTY A FELONY ACROSS THE U.S.

Posted by on Feb 14, 2019 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, EQUI-VOICE, HORSE ABUSE, HORSE NEWS, INDUSTRY NEWS, REINING NEWS, RODEO & BULLRIDING NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments

PROPOSED LAW WOULD MAKE ANIMAL CRUELTY A FELONY ACROSS THE UNITED STATES

Reprint from CBS News
Jan. 29, 2019

Two members of the U.S. House of representatives re-introduced a bill last week that would make malicious acts of animal cruelty a felony nationwide. A person convicted of the crime could face a fine or up to seven years in prison, or both.

The bill, known as the Preventing Animal Cruel and Torture (PACT) Act, is co-sponsored by Democrat Ted Deutch and Republican Vern Buchanan. PACT would criminalize “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals.

Deutch tweeted, We will get this done. It’s bipartisan, common-sense policy that will protect our animals.”

His congressional colleague, Buchanan, also said that protecting animals from cruelty is a “top priority” for him. “The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” he tweeted.

The legislation contains exceptions for hunting, veterinary care and actions necessary to protect life or property from a serious threat from an animal,

The Humane Society Legislative Fund supports the measure, noting that while most states consider certain acts of animal cruelty a felony, some penalties are still considered misdemeanors. The bill earned 284 bipartisan co-sponsors and more than 200 law enforcement endorsements in the previous session of Congress, according to the group. However, former Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) kept it from coming to the door for a vote.

Goodlatte is no longer in Congress and supporters of the measure are more optimistic about its chances of passing this time around,

A previous law to protect animals, the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, passed in 2010 and outlaws producing gruesome videos of animal abuse,

First published on January 28, 2019.

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