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Thread: X.Org Foundation Loses Its 501(c)(3) Status

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by robclark View Post
    I'm a sw dev, gfx driver hacker.. I've never run my own business, etc. And I would have been equally blindsided by not doing something that I didn't know needed to be done.
    Common sense dictates that if you volunteer to do something, you'd better find out how to do that job. I realize that level critical thinking is above the paygrade of the average hacker, but not consulting with a tax attorney when you are handling the money of any foundation is just fucking stupid.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_berra View Post
    Common sense dictates that if you volunteer to do something, you'd better find out how to do that job. I realize that level critical thinking is above the paygrade of the average hacker, but not consulting with a tax attorney when you are handling the money of any foundation is just fucking stupid.
    oh, right, because we all have tax attorneys on retainer. Now go STFU and do something useful.. I've got better things to do.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by robclark View Post
    oh, right, because we all have tax attorneys on retainer. Now go STFU and do something useful.. I've got better things to do.

    Anyone taking on the role of treasurer in a not-for-profit organisation must have a basic understanding of accounting and a working knowledge of the laws governing the organisation's operation. This also includes sitting down with a professional accountant even if they only ever look at your books once a year.

    The main duties of a treasurer are to oversee the financial administration of the organisation, review procedures and financial reporting, advise the board on financial strategy,keep up to date records,make sure the organisation complies with tax regulations(501c doesnt mean you dont report)

    Instead of seeking professional advice from an accountant its likely the foundation will now need a tax attorney to sort the mess out.

    So apparently its a massive FAIL on the treasurers part and everyone else making excuses.
    Last edited by DDF420; 09-01-2013 at 07:31 PM.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDF420 View Post
    So apparently its a massive FAIL on the treasurers part and everyone else making excuses.
    Well, until they start accepting the "I've got better things to do" excuse because we all know how difficult it is to find a tax attorney by typing in white pages tax attorney into google.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_berra View Post
    Well, until they start accepting the "I've got better things to do" excuse because we all know how difficult it is to find a tax attorney by typing in white pages tax attorney into google.
    sigh.. way to take a quote out of context. I do wonder sometimes, whether anyone bothers to read first before hitting the "reply" button. The "I've got better things to do" was in reference to me arguing with the monday-morning quarterbacks. Not anything to do with xorg foundation or BoD.

    But, ok, I'll try to summarise the situation as I understand, because reading the whole thread plus xorg meeting minutes is apparently so difficult for everyone else:
    1) xorg foundation is run by volunteers, one of which is stuart. He is not an accountant, he is a principle sw engineer. They are doing it to try to help advance x11 and the open source graphics stack. It is not a paid job. And the foundation doesn't have a huge amount of money to hire tax attorneys, etc.
    2) the foundation has not needed to file tax returns for past 8 or so years.. and this was apparently not a problem ~1yr ago when they first got 501c3 status.
    3) stuart did not say "I've got better things to do", as far as I understand he has been doing everything that he and the xorg board knew to do.
    4) then without prior warning, IRS informed them that 501c3 status is lost due to not filing last 3 yrs tax returns.

    So, maybe someone with more experience running a 501c3 or a tax attorny would have known better. (And considering we apparently have so many such experts on phoronix forums, I'm really surprised that someone else didn't step up and volunteer to advise the xorg BoD.) But to me it seems like an honest mistake. I do hope something good comes of it, it does sound like joining up under the umbrella of some bigger non-profit will be a good move. Open source graphics community is, in generally, pretty understaffed for what we do, and it does seem that trying to run a foundation on top of all the other work is just stretching things too thin.

    I know it is easier to critizise the people that are trying to help after the fact, but not terribly useful. So why don't you go do something useful instead and contribute to free software in some form or another.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by robclark View Post
    sigh.. way to take a quote out of context. I do wonder sometimes, whether anyone bothers to read first before hitting the "reply" button. The "I've got better things to do" was in reference to me arguing with the monday-morning quarterbacks. Not anything to do with xorg foundation or BoD.

    But, ok, I'll try to summarise the situation as I understand, because reading the whole thread plus xorg meeting minutes is apparently so difficult for everyone else:
    1) xorg foundation is run by volunteers, one of which is stuart. He is not an accountant, he is a principle sw engineer. They are doing it to try to help advance x11 and the open source graphics stack. It is not a paid job. And the foundation doesn't have a huge amount of money to hire tax attorneys, etc.
    2) the foundation has not needed to file tax returns for past 8 or so years.. and this was apparently not a problem ~1yr ago when they first got 501c3 status.
    3) stuart did not say "I've got better things to do", as far as I understand he has been doing everything that he and the xorg board knew to do.
    4) then without prior warning, IRS informed them that 501c3 status is lost due to not filing last 3 yrs tax returns.

    So, maybe someone with more experience running a 501c3 or a tax attorny would have known better. (And considering we apparently have so many such experts on phoronix forums, I'm really surprised that someone else didn't step up and volunteer to advise the xorg BoD.) But to me it seems like an honest mistake. I do hope something good comes of it, it does sound like joining up under the umbrella of some bigger non-profit will be a good move. Open source graphics community is, in generally, pretty understaffed for what we do, and it does seem that trying to run a foundation on top of all the other work is just stretching things too thin.

    I know it is easier to critizise the people that are trying to help after the fact, but not terribly useful. So why don't you go do something useful instead and contribute to free software in some form or another.
    All this could of been resolved if the board allocated a few hundred dollars each year to a proper tax accountant.

    I read http://www.x.org/wiki/BoardOfDirecto...es/2013/08-22/ They allocate funds for a travel sponsorship, nothing towards dealing with the 501c issue,then wish to hand the problems over to another foundation........madness

    When your 501c is revoked due to non filing, and you want it back, you need to reapply with either (IRS form 1023 or 1024) and pay the appropriate fees.

    To easy
    Last edited by DDF420; 09-03-2013 at 11:04 AM.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDF420 View Post
    All this could of been resolved if the board allocated a few hundred dollars each year to a proper tax accountant.

    I read http://www.x.org/wiki/BoardOfDirecto...es/2013/08-22/ They allocate funds for a travel sponsorship, nothing towards dealing with the 501c issue,then wish to hand the problems over to another foundation........madness

    When your 501c is revoked due to non filing, and you want it back, you need to reapply with either (IRS form 1023 or 1024) and pay the appropriate fees.

    To easy
    Well, to be fair, travel sponsorship to conferences for open src graphics developers who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend is one of the things that xorg foundation is supposed to be doing with it's money (along w/ sponsoring EVoC students, etc).

    In retrospect, spending a bit of money for advice from a tax attorney would have been a good idea. Although I could see why someone might mistakenly assume that doing the same thing that was done for the last 8 or so years was sufficient.

    But you sound like you know a bit about how the 501c3 stuff works. If xorg foundation continues to exist as a stand-alone entity, I'm sure they wouldn't mind some help from someone who could volunteer a bit of time to advise the board.

  8. #48
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    Advise to the board: "Pay your bills on time, file your taxes on time"

    SCNR

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