Form and Substance

September 6, 2009

I promised myself I would give myself a rest from the Internet at least once a week. Sunday is the day I picked. And here I sit, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, in the public library, writing a blog post.

Blogs, it seems to me, are like gardens: they need regular attention and tending. If I neglect my blog, in doesn’t get choked with weeds, it’s ignored. It becomes a flat line, those African savannah stats I mentioned in an earlier post.

To post a blog, I feel I need to have something to say…and I need access to the Internet. I don’t have either on a daily basis. Since I don’t have Internet access at home, I go to the public library or Francesco’s, the local gelato shop, or Allan Bros cafe, all within walking distance.

I made a deliberate and thoughtful decision not to be tethered to the Internet in my home. Just as I made a deliberate and thoughtful decision not to be on the Internet every day, especially not on the weekends, particularly not on Sundays. A commitment to my self. And here I am.

There’s discipline and a commitment involved in either component: in maintaining the blog and in maintaining some distance from the nonstopness of the Internet.

I had an e-mail from Samanda, our treasurer. She tried to file IRS Form 990N, the e-postcard that a nonprofit organization may file if it has not received more than $25,000 in donations during the fiscal year.

Sam went online, pulled up the form and got an error message when she tried to file. We have a Tax ID number; we don’t have an official acceptance letter from the IRS yet.

Here’s the error message:

When you enter your organization’s EIN, our system verifies that the EIN is on the IRS list of organizations eligible to file the e-Postcard. If you are certain you entered your EIN correctly, the IRS may not have your organization listed as a tax-exempt organization. This does not mean that your EIN is not valid. You will need to call IRS Customer Account Services at 877-829-5500 for assistance.

If your organization is a subordinate organization that is not included on the parent’s group return, your parent organization may have failed to list your organization on the list of subordinates provided to the IRS annually. The best way to resolve this is to have the parent organization ask the IRS to update its records by writing to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
1973 North Rulon White Blvd
Ogden, UT 84404-5402
ATTN: M/S 6273

If the IRS must update its records, it will be approximately six weeks before you can file your e-Postcard. You should not be concerned if your organization’s filing due date is imminent as there are no late filing or delinquency penalties associated with the e-Postcard.

The e-postcard. “E” for electronic? “E” for easy maybe?

I still like to send postcards with stamps.

And I like to receive postcards.

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