Grafton Township Food Pantry Does Not Seem to Be in Compliance with the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Registration Requirements

Ever since I wrote the article entitled,

I’ve been thinking about the Grafton Township Food Pantry.

As I pointed out in that article, Crystal Lake’s Food Pantry is privately supported. Private contributions bought and remodeled the old Helping Paws facility. The cost, including three years of utilities was $500,000.

The Grafton Township election ended up revolving around whether a new $3.5 million township hall, including an expanded food pantry, should be built with taxpayers’ money.

There’s a Grafton Town meeting 7 PM tomorrow night at the township garage. It is located on a street just west of Route 47 north of Algonquin Road (10,109 Vine Street). Residents will get to vote on whether to proceed or cancel the new building.

The Food Pantry holds itself out to be

“A 5013C,
non- profit

according to its page on the Grafton Township web site.

Now, we’ll hold in abeyance the fact that the section of the Internal Revenue Code is “501(c)3.”

No one expects people running a food pantry to be lawyers.

On February 26th, I wrote a letter to the Food Pantry asking for the forms that I thought had to be filed with IRS each year. They are called 990’s.

I was looking for names of the officers, cash flow, etc.

So far, I have received no reply.

In February, I called an IRS number in Covington, Kentucky, and talked told them I had received no reply to my request. The woman looked at the records and told me that no Form 990 had been filed.

She said if it were a small organization, which apparently IRS defines as averaging less than $25,000 a year over a three-year period, that a not-for-profit could file a Form 990N by email.

But the IRS representative told me no electronic form had been filed either.

I called the same number today (877-829-5500, option 4), talked to a different woman, and was told that the Grafton Township Food Pantry achieved tax exempt status with the IRS in January, 2007, and that the tax exemption was allowed as of September, 2007.

“We don’t have the 990 available on file,” the lady told me. “Their tax year ends in June.”

There have been two Junes since the food pantry’s exemption has been granted. The 2007 report would not have been required if less than $25,000 was donated. If I understood the explanation correctly, filing once every three years would have been enough.

But IRS instituted an electronic filing in 2008 for smaller charities. It’s called 990N.

The Huntley Food Pantry has not filed that form.

Those who have made donations should have no concern about the tax deductibility of their contributions to the food pantry.

“Any contributions are deductible,” the IRS woman said.

“I’m showing they are still tax exempt under 501 (c)(3).”

I decided to call the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Trusts Division because in Illinois a group cannot hold itself out to be a charitable organization without registering with that office.

On the web site

No matching records

came up for the Grafton Township Food Pantry.

That seems to mean that although the Food Pantry has good paper with IRS, the same does not go for state law enforcement officials.

Current Township Supervisor John Rossi is the IRS contact person.

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