Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Non-Profit Loses Status over Reports on Income

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Non-Profit Loses Status over Reports on Income

Article excerpt

A non-profit corporation set up by Passaic County to collect grants to improve county parks has lost its tax-exempt status after failing to report its income to the Internal Revenue Service for three consecutive years.

The Friends of the Passaic County Parks has been active in recent years, hosting the Passaic County Fair, bringing the New Jersey Symphony to Goffle Brook Park, while collecting at least $68,225 in grants, from 2013 to 2015, according to county records. Yet, during that time, no one at the group has filed the annual non-profit financial statement known as the 990 form, and that prompted the IRS to revoke the group's tax-exempt status.

Meaghan Tuohey, the chairwoman of the Friends, said the failure to file was merely an oversight, and will soon be corrected. She blamed a failure to communicate among members.

"It was a communication mix-up as to who is responsible for it [filing the forms]" Tuohey said. "It's not something that we condone and it will never happen again."

Without financial statements available online, prospective donors have no way of knowing whether the IRS deems the non-profit group to be "active" and in good standing or revoked. And the public has no way of knowing how much money the group has.

Tuohey said the problem was a technical foul-up and said the group plans to file its financial data as soon as possible. She did not know how much money the group currently has.

According to figures supplied by Passaic County spokesman Keith Furlong, the group has received grants totaling $68,225 since 2013, with most of the money coming from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Horizon gave the group $14,750 in 2013 to buy playground equipment at Weasel Brook and Goffle Brook parks. The health insurer this year donated $39,000 to build a fitness course at Weasel Brook. The other grants are $13,000 from New Jersey Historic Preservation for roof repairs and $1,475 from the New Jersey Cultural and Heritage Foundation. …

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