Nonprofit and Tax Exempt Status
TWS is both a nonprofit and tax-exempt organization. Our nonprofit status refers to our incorporation under state law (we were incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1948). Nonprofit status does not prevent us from generating more income than expenses, but it does bar us from distributing net earnings to individuals who operate the Society (the Council and staff). Our tax-exempt status refers to our federal income tax exemption.
Under Internal Revenue Service Code, we are classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for scientific and educational purposes. This is the most favorable tax status and confers several important benefits to the Society, including being exempt from paying federal income taxes on most sources of revenue, donors having the ability to deduct contributions from their taxes, and special postal rates.
In return for these special benefits, the Society must operate primarily to benefit the public, rather than individual members. However, members benefit, both directly and indirectly, from the Society’s many programs and activities.
Society members also make important contributions toward furthering our purposes and mission, both individually and through our sections, chapters, and working groups.
Note that although our members often refer to the Society as their “professional” organization, technically and legally, we are not a professional society nor association, but rather a scientific and educational association.
A professional society/association, while tax exempt, is classified as a 501(c)(6) “business league” which provides significantly fewer benefits (e.g., donors cannot deduct contributions and there is no reduced postal rate).
IRS Form 990
TWS prepares an IRS Form 990 report and submits it to the Internal Revenue Service annually. Form 990 is required for all tax-exempt organizations and must be open for public inspection. An archive of our Form 990 is provided here to assist the public and members in understanding TWS’ programs and accomplishments.
Financial Management and Investment Policy
TWS’s Financial and Investment Policies were established in 2006 and intend to provide a more detailed extension of the Corporate Assets Policy. The Policy provides considerable detail about the way that TWS conducts financial planning and budgeting, manages its accounts, conducts its annual audit and manages its long-term investments, including the TWS Endowment Fund.