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Maybe OSM Is Just Confused?

14 Dec 2011
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Today (December 14, 2011), the New York Charities Bureau published the Open Source Matters 2010 tax filings on their website. OSM filed both a CHAR500 and an IRS 990. The date these were received by the New York Attorney General's Charities Bureau was November 15, 2011. In the November 15, 2011 board meeting minutes:

a. CHAR500 (Ryan)
Ryan confirms that our 2010 CHAR500 NY filing has been submitted on time.

Yet, according to the New York Charities Bureau FAQs:

Q: When are Annual Filings due?

A: Filing due dates depend on an organization's registration type (see following question for more information on registration types). Article 7-A and Dual registrants are required to file within 4.5 months after the end of their fiscal year. EPTL registrants are required to file within 6 months after the end of their fiscal year.

(Emphasis added was mine) OSM's fiscal year runs from January through the end of December. CHAR500 instructions indicate they should file by May 15. Extensions are available:

VII. Extension of Time to File

Upon written request, preferably by email, submitted prior to the required filing date, the time to submit an annual filing may be extended by the Attorney General for up to three months. In lieu of such written request, a registrant may submit to the Charities Bureau a copy of a request for extension submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS Form 8868). Email requests should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. An email request should include the name of the charity and its New York State registration number in the subject line and should state the reason for the request in the body of the email or include IRS Form 8868 as an attachment. Any requests for further extensions must be submitted in writing, by mail, stating the reasons for such request and, if the registrant files annual returns with the IRS, must be accompanied by an IRS Form 8868 approved by the IRS if received. No extensions of time to file annual financial reports shall be granted to any registrant who has failed to submit an annual filing for any year prior to that for which the extension is requested.

(Emphasis added was mine). That would take OSM up to August 15. Unless the treasurer of OSM can show proof of additional extensions, it seems unlikely that the New York State tax filings were on time.

But wait, there is more.

A review of the 990 indicates that OSM filed as a 501(c)(3) organization. That is an IRS tax-exempt organization. OSM never completed the filing for tax exemption so that can't be right.

2010 990

And, if they are not a tax-exempt organization then they do not have unrelated business income which incurs huge tax penalties. Yet, they reported $257, 716 as unrelated business revenue for 2010.

Update: The accountant that prepared the 990 signed off on it on September 5, 2011. Paul Orwig, OSM's Treasurer signed off on it on October 23, 2011 - almost two months later. And, Mr. Orwig signed off on the New York CHAR500 on October 31, 2011 while Ryan Ozimek signed the CHAR500 on November 13, 2011 and as mentioned above, both forms were received at the New York Charities Bureau on November 15, 2011. So it takes 2 plus months for the paperwork to make it from New York to Colorado and from Colorado back to New York? No wonder the post office is having trouble. Or was it the post office?

So, I am confused and it looks like OSM is confused but maybe it's just the paperwork. I don't know. But if you ever had the chance to read Elin Waring's blog on June 16, 2010, you might come away with a better understanding of how OSM is currently structured under New York Law and you too might be questioning why OSM filed a 990 tax form indicating they were a tax exempt organization. I am sure that they don't file this form with the IRS. It is required to be filed for a New York State not-for-profit. However, that's no excuse for not getting it right!

There were a number of blanks in the 990 where there should have been an indication of the number of governing members (e.g. board members), etc. It kind of looked like the accountants were expecting the treasurer to fill in that information, Again, I can't be sure. But it does raise questions doesn't it? I pointed out several in this blog I would like to see answers to. How about you?

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David Huelsmann

Dave Huelsmann was Treasurer of Open Source Matters, Inc. from 2008 to July, 2010 and Joomla Forum Global Moderator from 2005 to November, 2010. Now retired, he was a senior healthcare executive who managed large and diverse clinical laboratory, radiology, electroencephalography, and centralized patient transport operations/departments in both not-for-profit and for-profit companies throughout the United States.

Dave was a Navy Corpsman who served in Vietnam while attached to Seabee battalionmcb71
MCB-71.

Read more about Dave Huelsmann

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