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An important and positive change to TAA’s not-for-profit classification

Michael Spinella, TAA Executive Director
Michael Spinella, TAA Executive Director

How much do you know—or care to know—about the wide variety of not-for-profit organizations that are recognized by the US government in the IRS tax code? Perhaps not much, and that’s fine, of course. I hope you know and see it as appropriate that TAA is a non-profit. Indeed we are, but recently have undergone a classification change. I hope you’ll indulge me in this brief column while I explain the importance of that change.

In December 2019, the IRS officially agreed to reclassify TAA from a 501(c)6 organization to a 501(c)3. The odd alpha-numeric classification system is of no interest, but you might like to know that our former classification is more often applied to entities that are akin to labor unions. That’s not crazy, because TAA does advocate for the interests and needs of authors, as a labor union might. But we’re not quite analogous to a labor union. For example, when TAA advocates a position, we take into consideration, and intend to benefit, the entire community of authors – even those who aren’t currently TAA members.

Still, you might ask, why bother to make a change? It was worth the effort because the new classification puts TAA in a similar category to educational institutions, University Presses, and other non-profit entities that try to serve our broader society by advancing education and advocating for excellence in teaching and writing educational resources. Indeed, TAA’s mission has always included a devotion to helping authors improve the quality of their scholarly writing. Now our official classification is more squarely aligned with the purposes of many of our members’ home institutions.

Another practical advantage attends our change to the new classification. We could always solicit donations, but in our new classification your donations are tax deductible as charitable donations. We expect this will be a help to those of you who already provide TAA with additional funds (beyond dues and product or service purchases), such as contributing members, conference sponsorships, and other direct gifts. We appreciate ALL of your support!

If you have further questions about what TAA’s reclassification means, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Michael Spinella
TAA Executive Director