Battle With The IRS

I knew nothing about the IRS before I became involved with The Cloth Diaper Foundation. The only thing I knew about the IRS related to tax purposes and having never been audited, I’ve never had to deal with the IRS directly. I also knew nothing about EIN numbers or non-charity divisions through the IRS. The past three weeks were a very educational experience for me and I wanted to share my roller-coaster ride of a journey.

In order for CDF to operate in the state of California without having to pay a $500 a day fine, it is essential to register our employee identification number (EIN) with the state of California as well as file the necessary paperwork which is needed for us to officially move the CDF to the Golden State. Kristy asked me to take on this task and I optimistically accepted the challenge. I could not wait to get to work! After all, how hard can this be?

I'm usually a chatterbox on the phone, but the task at hand turned out be be harder than I thought for a few reasons:


Why is it every time I make a phone call my children have to scream bloody murder? I doubt I am the only mother who goes through this! My children could have a great day, freshly woken from naps, yet ANY time I have to make an important phone call they make their presence known. As embarrassing as it was to ask the IRS agent to please repeat what he said with a screaming four year old in the background, I kept positive. This particular agent was very nice, I believe on some level he must have sympathized.


I must have spoken with at least 10 different agents the first week. Each of them seem to have a different answer for me. Maybe I didn't make myself clear enough when I stated we were already a 501(3)c organization, but it seemed like everyone had something different to say. One agent even stated that we would need to repay the filing fee to file for a 501(3)c under another state or file with the Secretary of State of California as operating as a foreign entity.


This should have been easy; however, this was the hardest task to accomplish! In order to update the address with the IRS I was told to verify the old address. No problem! I gave them the address which was registered in Texas. I was told that it was wrong. A week later I found out from Kristy that the IRS had an incorrect address filed. The previous address was off by one digit! Instead of the agent telling me this, he told me that I had the address wrong.

So thanks to Kristy, and after two weeks of vague answers and being “pawned” off onto the next agent, our EIN number is officially registered with the CORRECT address! Of course, this was only the first step of a very long task. Although the IRS address change took as long as it did, I was able to accomplish other things for the CDF organization. I got to sew some diapers for the charity auction. I enjoyed helping out in our local outreach. I also was able reach out to others and meet some of the lovely ladies through Cloth Diaper Nation and keep them informed with CDF news. I love the many projects which I have been involved with through CDF. I am forever grateful for this opportunity to help others.

Candace Smith-Shields


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