West Virginia Academy, Ltd., filed Form 1023 with the Internal Revenue Service in March of 2020 in order to be recognized as an official 501(c)(3) public charity by the IRS. The process for filing such an application is fairly extensive and was lead by board member Susan Dull, a former CPA with several years of experience advising non-profit entities and hospitals. This process includes developing a multi-year budget and incorporating required language and limitations into the organizational documents and policies. These limitations are designed to ensure that any organizational funds are used for the charitable purpose of the organization. West Virginia Academy completed this process after forming an independent and voluntary board of directors and adopting various key policies including a robust conflicts of interest policy.
If West Virginia Academy's application is approved, then individuals who make contributions to the organization in 2020 will be able to take a tax deduction for a charitable donation. While the full approval process typically takes a few months from when the initial application is filed, if granted, the public charity status is deemed to be retroactive. This means that as long as approval is granted then donations made at the current time would be deductible on a donor's 2020 tax return. For more information about the tax treatment for contributions to an organization with a pending form 1023 application, see Contributions to Organization with IRS Application Pending. John Treu, the organization's president, further elaborated, "[i]n addition to possible future tax benefits for donors, this application is a critical step in pursuing a successful charter under West Virginia law." The charter school law requires an organization seeking a charter to "have submitted an application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status" and this requirement is ingrained in the definition of a charter applicant (see W. Va. Code Sec. 18-5G-2(1)(A)). This is an exciting step for West Virginia Academy as it progresses in its mission to establish a charter school serving Monongalia County and its surrounding areas.