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State Advocate 2019 - 2020

Picture of State Advocate

Tom Williams

August  2019

Brother Knights,

Welcome to the new State Advocate bulletin article! I have some big shoes to fill following Greg Mahoney, but here goes . . .

I am here to assist the State Council on all legal matters - I will research and report the facts, but I am not licensed to provide legal advice.  If you need legal advice, I can help you find it. That is a pretty big item to remember so you will likely hear it throughout the year.

One big focus on will be on legal and tax related subjects throughout the year that impact council operations.  Safe Environment training will a big topic, with graphics to track Council compliance over the year. This is a point of emphasis with Supreme and there is no wiggle room – ether you follow the policy or you can’t hold events. It is that simple. 

As the new fraternal year kicks off, pay attention to your filing of IRS Form 990.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires the Supreme Council and each of its subordinate councils, assemblies, and chapters in the United States (referred to collectively as councils) to file an annual informational tax return (IRS Form 990, 990EZ, or 990N).  For purposes of tax compliance, the Knights of Columbus encompasses not only the Supreme Council, but also its subordinate units.  Accordingly, all councils in the United States may be recognized by the IRS as “fraternal lodges” for purposes of the tax exemption granted to fraternal benefit societies under Section 501(c)(8) of the Internal Revenue Code.  This means that revenues received by a council for fraternal, recreational, or charitable purposes are not subject to federal income tax. 

Most councils file Form 990N (e-Postcard).  Filings are done every year either on a calendar or a fraternal year end.  Your first filing will determine your filing year.

It is very important that all councils comply with the annual IRS filing requirements.  Failure to comply with the IRS filing requirement will ultimately lead to the revocation of a council’s tax-exempt status.  Those councils that have had their tax-exempt status revoked should apply for reinstatement as quickly as possible to avoid potential tax liabilities.  From the date of the IRS revocation notice to the date of IRS reinstating the council’s tax-exempt status, the council will be considered a taxable entity and therefore liable for any taxes accrued during that period of time.   Fines are involved if a council has to be reinstated – hundreds of dollars. 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Constitution and Laws of the Order please send me a note or call.

Vivat Jesus!



Thomas C. Williams

State Advocate