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Announcing: MuseCon 1 - Finding Our Muse

A convention in northeastern Illinois celebrating music and the hands-on arts in 2011

Launching August 2011, Chicagoland
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About Us...

Most kids create an imaginary world where they have friends nobody else can see and which allows them to be fireman or astronauts or whatever strikes their fancy. We were all kids like that and as we grew, we found the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, media, music, art and other things that allowed us an escape from the mundane world. Within the fannish community, we've found folks who had similar interests. This community of accepting, like-minded folks has allowed us to create and educate. Whether it's science, writing, art, music or even entirely new ideas, the fannish community is a pretty creative bunch. MuseCon is a place to explore that creativity and learn from each other. You don't have to be an expert - all you need is a willingness to try. Come and play with us!

A message from the treasurer

The IRS has formally determined MuseCon is an exempt organization under section 501c3. This is huge! Even better, MuseCon is a 509a2 charity, with the highest deductibility and contribution limits.

This was not easy, and for a time it was looking grim, but through perseverance (and some valuable suggestions from ISFiC's Tom Veal), we have successfully addressed all questions to the IRS' satisfaction.

Q: So, what does this get us?
A1: We get taken seriously by other organizations, businesses, groups, and individuals.
A2: No income/revenue limits.

Q: Wait, I though you were a 501c3 before? This doesn't seem to change anything. A: Au contraire! We were a statutory 501c3. As long as we met certain criteria, the IRS allowed us to operate as an exempt organization, subject to certain limits, most notably no more than $5000/yr revenue. But, the IRS requires we make one of three choices:

  1. Do nothing. We are limited to $5000/yr, with no formal recognition.
  2. Fulfill IRS requirements to become an exempt organization under 501c3. This is our desired happy place.
  3. Fulfill IRS requirements to become a non-exempt organization under a different set of rules. All of the filing requirements, none of the tax exempt benefits!

Q: What do you mean by "taken seriously"?
A: Anyone can request donations, but if you have the formal IRS determination letter and are in the IRS Publication 78, it shows you, as an organization, have met stringent IRS requirements. This opens many, many additional doors for us as we pursue our organizational goals: corporate grants, matching donations, material donations, reduced postage, free hosting, etc. This list goes on...

Musecon, Inc. and Non-Profit Status

We are officially a 501(c)3 organization, but the process is still not quite complete. We are an official not-for-profit charity organization, and donations are tax-deductable, and often elegible for corporate matching programs, but not all organizations will recognize our not-for-profit status. Most importantly, we are still too new, and not (yet) listed in the IRS "Publication 78". This is the official published list of charities recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service.

Our status right now (in all cases, search for MuseCon):

. We appear in the IRS Filings Database:
. We are recognized by the Illinois Attorney General -- Charity Registration:
. We are recognized by the Illinois Secretary of State Office -- Corporate Certificate of Good Standing:

Still in progress,

. IRS Pub 78:

You can also see the Publication 78 FAQ and some additional lists of entities that have been recently added or removed from Publication 78 at,,id=96136,00.html.

About Not-For-Profit Organizations

The following information was taken from the IRS publication: Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status

U.S. federal tax law imposes responsibilities on organizations receiving 501(c)(3) status.

Recordkeeping Section 501(c)(3) organizations are required to keep books and records detailing all activities, both financial and nonfinancial. Financial information, particularly information on its sources of support (contributions, grants, sponsorships, and other sources of revenue) is crucial to determining an organization's private foundation status.

Filing Requirements Organizations recognized as tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRC may be required to file an annual information return. Smaller organizations must submit an annual electronic notice using Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard).

Disclosure Requirements Section 501(c)(3) organizations must make their application (Form 1023) and the annual returns (Form 990 or Form 990-EZ) available to the public for inspection, upon request and without charge (except for a reasonable charge for copying). Each annual return must be made available for a three-year period starting with the filing date of the return.

Organizations that are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRC must meet certain requirements for documenting charitable contributions. The federal tax law imposes two general disclosure rules: 1) a donor must obtain a written acknowledgment from a charity for any single contribution of $250 or more before the donor can claim a charitable contribution on his/her federal income tax return; 2) a charitable organization must provide a written disclosure to a donor who makes a payment in excess of $75 partly as a contribution and partly for goods and services provided by the organization.

Recordkeeping Requirements A donor cannot claim a tax deduction for any contribution of cash, a check or other monetary gift, unless the donor maintains a record of the contribution in the form of either a bank record (such as a cancelled check) or a written communication from the charity (such as a receipt or a letter) showing the name of the charity, the date of the contribution, and the amount of the contribution.

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