Publishing Your Institution’s Racially Nondiscrimination Policy
A tax-exempt private school must adopt a racially nondiscriminatory policy regarding students, publicize that policy to “all segments of the general community it serves,” and operate in a bona fide manner in accordance with that policy. Compliance with these rules are reported on Schedule E (Form 990) for 990 filers or – in some cases – using Form 5578 for 990 non-filers.
Compliance in this arena has historically meant taking out a notice in a newspaper or putting an ad on radio/TV media. Now, IRS has officially stated that the publicity requirement can be met by including this policy on an institution’s “primary publicly accessible Internet homepage.”
Now – following the release of IRS Revenue Procedure 2019-22 – a school may display a notice of its racially nondiscriminatory policy on its primary publicly accessible Internet homepage at all times during its taxable year (excluding temporary outages due to website maintenance or technical problems) in a manner reasonably expected to be noticed by visitors to the homepage.
And, within this new Rev. Proc., the IRS provides “model” language for an acceptable “Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy As To Students.”
· Does your institution publish your racially nondiscrimination policy anywhere on your webpage?
· Or, do you annually put a notice in a widely read newspaper or broad-audience radio or TV channel?
· How feasible would it be to move your racially nondiscrimination policy to your “Home” webpage?
EXAMPLE: Aerie College has historically taken on a newspaper ad to “publish” their racially nondiscrimination policy per IRS mandate. They describe this each year when they file Form 990 (Schedule E). Now, rather than going to the time and expense of a newspaper ad, as an option, AC may include their policy on their home page (primary publicly accessible Internet homepage).
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