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The University of Illinois at Chicago’s tax-exempt status does not extend to its registered student organizations or individual UIC students.
This information is intended only for registered student organizations at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Although the information contained on this website is designed to offer general tax information, it is not a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Service, Illinois Department of Revenue Services, or a qualified tax professional. The information provided on this website is subject to change (without notice) or further interpretation by the Internal Revenue Service or other tax authorities.
Non-Profit & Tax-Exempt Status
All registered student organizations are required to operate as non-profit organizations that do not generate income for individuals and/or the organization itself. Student organizations, however, are not automatically registered as 501(c)3 organizations, and do not, therefore, automatically receive tax-exempt status.
Any Registered Student Organization that incorporates must do so strictly on a nonprofit basis and in a manner that perpetuates its status for students of the University. Organizations that seek tax-exempt status are required to apply for such status through the United State Internal Revenue Service.
Federal Tax-Exempt Status
In order to qualify as a tax-exempt organization (i.e., exempt from Federal taxation under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(a)), a student organization must generally be a type of organization described in IRC Section 501(c). Organizations that meet the requirements of IRC Section 501(a) are generally exempt from federal income taxation. In addition, charitable contributions made to some section 501(a) organizations by individuals and corporations are deductible as charitable contributions under IRC Section 170.
Obtaining Federal Tax-Exempt Status (https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitableorganizations/exemption-requirements-501c3-organizations)
The benefits of 501(c)(3) status include exemption from federal income tax and eligibility to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. To qualify for these benefits most organizations must file an application with and be recognized as exempt under IRC Section 501(c)(3) by the IRS.
Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Registered Student Organizations are not permitted to utilize the University’s EIN for any purposes. Any organization that has at least one employee, files tax or information returns, and/or opens a bank account will be required to obtain an EIN. An organization can apply for an EIN by completing IRS Form SS-4 online, by telephone, by fax, or by mail (Please refer to SS-4 instructions for further information). To avoid the issuance of multiple EINs, it is advised that an organization check its records before applying, in order to verify that the organization was not already issued an EIN.
Note: An individual’s social security number should not be utilized on a student organization’s bank account as the funds in the account may be treated by the IRS as part of that individual’s assets and any earnings on the account will be deemed earnings of the individual for income tax purposes.
Illinois Sale Tax
Registered Student Organizations are not permitted to use the University’s sales tax exemption to make sales tax-free purchases. A 501(c)(3) organization wishing to make a purchase exempt from Illinois sales tax must issue its own State of Illinois Sales Tax Exempt Letter to a vendor. Organizations not receiving a formal IRS determination letter indicating 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status will be unable to make sales tax-exempt purchases in Illinois.
What is a W-9? (https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-w-9)
Use Form W-9 to provide your correct Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to the person who is required to file an information return with the IRS to report, for example:
- Income paid to you.
- Acquisition or abandonment of secured property.
- Cancellation of debt.
What is a TIN?
A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws. There are three different types of numbers the IRS uses for tax purposes: Social Security Number (SSN), individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), and an employer identification number (EIN). The TIN is issued either by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or by the IRS. A Social Security number (SSN) is issued by the SSA whereas all other TINs are issued by the IRS.
What is an EIN?
An EIN is a unique nine-digit number that identifies your business for tax purposes. It’s similar to a Social Security number but is meant for business-related items only.
Not sure whether you need an EIN? Review this guide from the IRS. If you answer yes to any of the questions in the list, you need to apply for an EIN.