RE: OT: 501(c)3 certification for Oracle user groups

From: Iggy Fernandez <>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:35:15 -0700
Message-ID: <BLU179-W15EBF007B052309E1B5AEBEBA90_at_phx.gbl>

So the following process for smaller orgs may work: Restate articles and bylaws using a model template for 501c3 organizationsComplete 1023-EZ online and pay a $400 fee As Tom Kyte said once: ďIt ainít so much the things we donít know that get us into trouble. Itís the things you know that just ainít so or just ainít so anymore or just ainít always so.Ē ( Iggy
P.S. For the pedantically inclined: A popular saying is ďIt ainít so much the things we donít know that get us into trouble. Itís the things we know that just ainít so.Ē Wikiquote attributes it to a 19th century American humorist named Artemus Ward but The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and Whenattributes it to another 19th century humorist named Josh Billings who actually wrote: ďI honestly beleave it iz better tew know nothing than two know that ainít so.Ē Another versions attributed to Josh Billings are ďIt iz better to kno less than to kno so much that ainít soĒ and ďYouíd better not kno so much than know so many things that ainít so.Ē The misattribution to Artemus Ward is just another example of the problem that Josh Billings was talking about. From:
Subject: RE: OT: 501(c)3 certification for Oracle user groups Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 08:26:19 -0700

This may be applicable to a lot of Oracle user groups: As of July 1 2014, any group that pays a $400 fee and declares on a three-page online form that it has annual income of less than $50,000, total assets of less than $250,000 and is in compliance with the tax-code requirements of a charity will automatically be allowed to accept donations that are tax-deductible for the donors. Previously the groups had to fill out a detailed 26-page form, submit multiple supporting documents and provide a narrative description of their intended activities. The expedited application form is 1023-EZ. Iggy

Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:38:12 -0500
Subject: Re: OT: 501(c)3 certification for Oracle user groups From:

Congratulations! I know other user groups might be interested in this option and sharing the process is appreciated. Alfredo
On Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 9:06 AM, Iggy Fernandez <> wrote:

NoCOUG applied only once and was successful on the first attempt. I believe that the key was the restatement of our articles and bylaws (upon the advice of the CPA who handled our case) using a model template for 501c3 organizations. For good measure, our mission statement mentioned that we do indeed give our members opportunities to hear viewpoints other than those handed down from 400 Oracle Parkway. I will share our application and documents with Mark and Tim and with anybody else who may be interested (send me an offline email). Iggy

To:; Subject: RE: OT: 501(c)3 certification for Oracle user groups Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2015 00:44:29 -0400

Congratulations to both RMOUG and NoCOUG on achieving 501(c) 3 status.  

Between 1988 (eotopica99.pdf) and an update in 1996 changes in IRS policy changed a lot. We probably do need to update our document from ďwill probably be deniedĒ to something more hopeful and cite the experiences of both RMOUG and NoCOUG.  

In 1990 when I help found the OAUG both Bechtelís general council and several tax issue oriented law firms were consulted and the universal opinion at that time was that due to the Prime computer users group and Guide users group court rulings we had zero chance of success in gaining tax exempt status (tax exempt as distinct from not for profit). The IOUG received similar advice, circa 1993, if memory serves.  

The rulings and advice from law firms were not myths. Three filings and a four year perseverance required by RMOUG underscore the very real difficulties even as late as 2003.  

Tax exempt status is a desirable outcome and I know richly deserved by RMOUG, for example, not least because of their contributions to high school education.  

Once a local, regional, or sig users group achieves critical mass for the undertaking it is well worth considering. If RMOUG and NoCOUG can share what they regard as key positives of their applications from the IRS viewpoint, that would be great. The prevailing attitude at the IRS has clearly evolved from what it was in the wake of the Guide and Prime rulings.  

Again, congratulations!  


From: [] On Behalf Of Tim Gorman Sent: Monday, June 29, 2015 9:02 PM
Subject: Re: OT: 501(c)3 certification for Oracle user groups  

RMOUG initiated efforts to obtain 501(c)3 status in late 2003, submitted three times, and achieved the status in late 2007. RMOUG was also incorporated in 1996 as a 501(c)6, but I don't believe the 501(c)3 status was backdated. So in that respect, NoCOUG is an official tax-exempt charitable non-profit since well before RMOUG. :-)


On 6/29/15 17:39, Iggy Fernandez wrote:
Following the trailblazing path set by RMOUG, NoCOUG has received 501(c)3 exemption from the IRS. The effectivity date was the date of NoCOUG incorporation in 1996. This busts the myth that Oracle user groups are not eligible for 501(c)3 exemption.
The IRSís concern is that a computer user group supporting only part of an industry provides some members of the industry with an advantage over others not supported by the group. The IRS will look at the groupís primary purposes, activities, and membership to determine whether the group benefits the entire industry or only a segment or a sole brand/manufacturer. Simply by having a nametag like ďOracle User GroupĒ will send red flags to the IRS that your group is primarily supporting one brand or manufacturer (i.e. Oracle Corporation). If your user group can make a case that it supports the entire software industry then you may be able to obtain tax exemption under the 501(c) (6) rule. To obtain tax-exempt status under Section 501(c) (3), a group must be organized exclusively for one or more of the following reasons (among others): charitable, religious, educational, scientific, or literary. Computer user groups normally do not qualify under Section 501(c) (3) because their purposes and activities rarely are exclusively charitable or educational, etc. Although your main activity may be education, if it is organized to help users of a certain brand or manufacturer, rather than the public as a whole, tax exemption will probably be denied.  


Received on Tue Jun 30 2015 - 18:35:15 CEST

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