We are so happy to say that as of the 23rd of January in the year 2018 according to the IRS we are officially a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Exotic Reptile Rescue. We have been non-profit since the start. Because we did not make a profit. But now we are officially exempt. Exempt from what? Please read for more information…
What does it mean to be a 501(c)(3) Organization?
Section 501(c)(3) is the portion of the US Internal Revenue Code that allows for federal tax exemption of nonprofit organizations, specifically those that are considered public charities, private foundations or private operating foundations. It is regulated and administered by the US Department of Treasury through the Internal Revenue Service.
Provisions Unique to 501(c)(3)
One of the most distinct provisions unique to Section 501(c)(3) organizations as compared with other tax-exempt entities is the tax deductibility of donations. 26 U.S.C. § 170, provides a deduction, for federal income tax purposes, for some donors who make charitable contributions to most types of 501(c)(3) organizations.
Other unique provisions tend to vary by state. Like federal law, most states allow for deductibility for state income tax purposes. Also, many states allow 501(c)(3) organizations to be exempt from sales tax on purchases, as well as exemption from property taxes. Special nonprofit, bulk rate postage discounts are available from the Post Office to qualifying organizations.
What Types Of Non-Profits are there?
A public charity is generally defined by the IRS as “not a private foundation”. It receives a substantial portion of its revenue from the general public or from the government. In order to remain a public charity (and not a private foundation), a 501(c)(3) must obtain at least 1/3 of its donated revenue from a fairly broad base of public support. Public support can be from individuals, companies and/or other public charities. Donations to public charities can be tax deductible to the individual donor up to 50% of the donor’s income. Corporate limits are generally 10%. In addition, public charities must maintain a governing body that is mostly made up of unrelated individuals. Public charities are what most people recognize as those organizations with active programs. Examples include churches, benevolence organizations, animal welfare agencies, educational organizations, etc.
A private foundation is often referred to as a non-operating foundation, as in it typically does not have active programs. Revenue may come from a relatively small number of donors, even single donors. Private foundations are usually thought of as nonprofits which support the work of public charities through grants, though that is not always the case. Donations to private foundations can be tax deductible to the individual donor up to 30% of the donor’s income. Governance of a private foundation can be much more closely held than in a public charity. A family foundation is an example of a private foundation.
The third category is the least common: a private operating foundation. These organizations often maintain active programs similar to public charities but may have attributes (such as close governance) similar to a foundation. As such, private operating foundations are often considered hybrids. Most of the earnings must go to the conduct of programs. Donation deductibility is similar to a public charity.
Restrictions on Activities
501(c)(3 organizations are highly regulated entities. Strict rules apply to both the activities and the governance of these organizations. No part of the activities or the net earnings can unfairly benefit any director, officer, or any private individual, and no officer or private individual can share in the distribution of any of the corporate assets in the event the organization shuts down.
Further, lobbying, propaganda or other legislative activity must be kept relatively insubstantial. Intervention in political campaigns or the endorsement/anti-endorsement of candidates for public office is strictly prohibited
Having 501(c)(3)status comes with compliance requirements, the most obvious of which is operating the organization within the IRS regulations. In addition, most organizations must file some version of Form 990 with the IRS each year. Additional compliance requirements exist at the state level.
Why are we a forever home for turtles?
According to Florida Fish & Wildlife Non-native species that are released into the wild may compete with native species for habitat or food, prey on native wildlife, transmit diseases, or, in the case of the red-eared slider, interbreed with Florida’s native wildlife. FWC Rule 68-5.001, F.A.C., prohibits the release of any non-native animal in Florida. People who tire of them as pets often release them into local ponds or lakes, where they wreak environmental havoc. Released turtles can spread disease and parasites to wild turtles. People are faced with life-changing events every single day. Making the choice of adopting out their herp even more stressful. The easy thing to do is pick a pond or forest and let the pet have a free life. Because as humans, I think, we understand that animals are supposed to be free and wild. Even as we say hello to our domesticated pets each day. We are here for those people. So they can choose to rehome their exotic with no fear of being judged.
Why are we a forever home for tortoises?
Because of their ability to dig, this tortoise is well known for escaping his enclosure. Many Tortoises need a huge amount of space. And males can be very aggressive when housed together. For this reason, often people purchase a tortoise as a young pet the size of a breakfast biscuit and never really house it properly. The sellers are often too happy about the money and forget to teach the buyer what the needs are. We have a tortoise who went straight through the drywall in his previous home. Dug right through the wall! These are special conditions that we more prepared to deal with here at Crazy Critters.
We will help anyone find the appropriate licensed forever home!
We do not possess all the necessary licenses for some exotic reptiles. So if we do not qualify as a forever home we will find the appropriate one for you! Some of the world’s biggest and deadliest reptiles have been found in the United States where they don’t belong. We work with people and connect them to the right facilities so their pet does not add to the numerous invasive species we have here in Florida.
We help carve the invasive species
Many animals are found in Florida including, Nile crocodiles, Burmese pythons, and green anacondas. In fact, all of them have been found in Florida alone. The swampy wilderness of South Florida is hot, muggy, and a great spot for reptiles from all over the world to settle in and get comfortable. You might think that it would be difficult for a beast from the jungles of Africa, Asia, or South America to find its way to Florida, but it’s not. In fact, a few hundred of them may have been in the cargo hold of the last airplane you flew on, either smuggled, shipped here legally for the exotic pet trade, or as stowaways.
If they escaped, any of them could end up wreaking havoc on native ecosystems and contributing to the $120 billion worth of environmental damage that non-native species cause in the United States each year. Or, they could end up doing nothing at all. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for biologists to tell what risk a non-native species might pose to the United States before it is too late. We have jumped into action on many reptile calls. Catching many species of snakes including a 12-foot Burmese python that was roaming in Mount Dora and an adult crocodile monitor on 44a on the way to Deland.
Would you or your company like to become a sponsor to Crazy Critters Inc.? Your support would benefit hundreds of exotic reptiles who call this farm a forever home.
Everyone in our community benefits when donors put their funds together to remove stray animals from our environment. And the animals can call this last stop a forever home makes it that much better.