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Incorporation is usually undertaken to limit the liability of the members. The procedures to create a California corporation and obtain tax exemption can be accomplished without professional help.

California organizations wishing to incorporate as nonprofit corporations must file for incorporation and California tax exemption simultaneously. Incorporation before obtaining California tax exemption (at this time) requires an $800.00 prepayment of a minimum tax paid to the Franchise Tax Board.

The steps in the process of incorporation are:

  1. Decide the type of exemption desired (Charitable or Social Welfare). Do not consider Social and Recreational since it does not fit our Societies and effectively eliminates having shows open to the public.
  2. Develop;
    1. Articles of Incorporation consistent with the type of exemption desired.
    2. Bylaws consistent with the type of exemption desired.
  3. File for incorporation and exemption simultaneously.
  4. After the California tax exemption is received, file for Federal tax exemption. Federal tax exemption is not required if the annual gross receipts will not exceed $5,000.00. However, filing is strongly recommended.

The first step involves the writing of two (2) letters to get the latest information.

  1. Secretary of State
    1230 J Street
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    1. NOTE: Request information on forming a nonprofit corporation including sample forms of Articles of Incorporation.
  2. Franchise Tax Board
    P. O. Box 942857
    Sacramento, CA 94257-4040
    1. NOTE: Request Exemption Application (Form 3500) and instructions. There is a Franchise Tax Board 800 number for forms in the government pages of the local telephone directory that can be called instead of writing.

Review the documents received before deciding the type of California tax exemption you will request. The California Federation is tax exempt for both IRS and California as a Charitable Organization under I.R.C. Section 501 (c) (3) and the California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 23701d.

Any of the member Societies are eligible for similar exemption if their meetings, newsletter, study group and field trips include educational and/or scientific information about earth sciences and lapidary arts.