X.Org Foundation Loses Its 501(c)(3) Status
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 23 August 2013 at 01:22 PM EDT. 47 Comments
The X.Org Foundation has lost its 501(c)(3) non-profit status and is now seeking new options, including possibly joining a larger organization.

It was revealed this week that the X.Org Foundation is no longer a 501(c)(3) organization as they failed to file their taxes on time (or at all) for the past three years or possibly as far back as 2005.

Stuart Kreitman, the X.Org Foundation accountant and Oracle employee, wrote during the Board of Directors' IRC meeting this week, "The status of the 501c3 is lost because we (me) failed to file the 3 past years' tax returns on time. Note that we've Never filed returns since our first re-organization to the LLC in 2005. I was taken by surprize that the IRS hit us so rudely. I've had little issues with my own returns and have always found them to be reasonable and friendly."

The foundation only officially obtained 501(c)(3) status with the US government in 2012 after years of paper wrangling and delayed work. The foundation really didn't even get around to taking advantage of its non-profit status with no major fundraising drivers or soliciting for donations from major corporations having a stake in X.Org-related open-source projects.

Sadly this isn't the first time that the X.Org Foundation has run into accounting troubles or mismanagement. X.Org has lost funds in the past due to banking issues, PayPal issues, and an assortment of other actions due to either delayed action or inaction on the behalf of the accountant and the board. After XDC2011 in Chicago, the student group who helped us secure a reduced rate for the venue even had their student rights temporarily revoked by the university due to the X.Org Foundation not paying their bill on time. So seeing X.Org lose its 501(c)(3) status is hardly a surprise.

Per the IRC meeting minutes, the board is now thinking about having the X.Org Foundation join an umbrella organization like the SPI, the Apache Foundation, or other free-software-focused organizations for riding some benefits like a non-profit status while having to deal less in paperwork and other managerial matters.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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