BBB alerts donors about local nonprofit charity

The Better Business Bureau is alerting donors about a Central New York  charity, Camp Fire USA Central New York Camp Talooli – currently F rated – that has had its tax-exempt status revoked.

This means anyone donating to the nonprofit would not be able to use that donation as a tax deduction on his or her income taxes, said BBB spokeswoman Peggy Penders.

The BBB said while the tax exempt status was revoked, Camp Fire and Camp Talooli still is operating as a charity and soliciting gifts from the public.

She said the Internal Revenue Service revoked the organization’s 501(c)(3) IRS tax exempt status in February 2013 for failing to file its 990 forms for three years. A 990 is a nonprofit’s equivalent to a 1040 tax form.

The BBB states the revocation was not contested and was posted to the public in May.

Camp Talooli is located near Pennellville in the town of Schroeppel.

Since the Camp Talooli revocation posting date in May, any donations made were no longer tax-deductible. The BBB said in a release that Camp Talooli advertised donations would be tax exempt.

The Camp Fire and Camp Talooli website this week states: “Currently we are updating/resolving some filing inconsistencies that are required to regain/retain this status (tax-exempt) for 2014 and beyond. If you have any questions in this regard please do not hesitate to contact me (Executive Director Jan Peneston) at 934 4051.

BBB officials say not all charities operate the same and encourage donors to do their research and verify current tax-exempt status before they give.

Camp Talooli officials have not responded to BBB requests for information.

Peneston said Monday the organization has submitted one of the three 990s to the IRS and it is waiting to hear what the  next step is to obtain tax-exempt status again.

She said Camp Fire also has hired a new accounting firm and should have all 990s filed by the end of January.

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