Updated Guidance for Private Schools Publishing Nondiscrimination Policies

Posted on Jul 8, 2019

In late May, the IRS released great news for private schools operating under Code Sec. 501(c)(3). In recognition of the many ways the Internet is a part of everyday lives, the IRS will now allow private schools to use their websites to satisfy the requirement that they publish nondiscrimination policies in a manner intended to reach the general community each school serves. Previous guidance, issued in the 1970s, provided only two options – an annual publication in a newspaper or general circulation, or using broadcast media to publicize the policy.

Revenue Procedure 2019-22 provides private schools with a third method, their public website, to use in making nondiscrimination policies known to the school’s general community. To use the school’s website to publish the nondiscrimination policy, a few parameters must be considered:

  • The website must be publicly accessible, with no login, password, or other input of information necessary to access the site.
  • A link to another portion of the school’s site, a notice that appears in a carousel, or a notice that only appears by selecting from a dropdown box or mouse over/hover is not acceptable.
  • If the school does not have its own website, but rather has a page or series of pages on another website (for example, the school is closely affiliated with a church and the school’s webpage is within the church’s website), the policy must be published on the primary landing page for the school.
  • The policy must be placed in a location on the website reasonably expected to be noticed by visitors to the site.

The original 1970s guidance was published in response to a series of exempt status revocations of private schools with discrimination policies. Revenue Procedure 75-50 allows a private school to publish its nondiscrimination policy in newspapers or other publications that reach all racial segments of the community or communities the school serves. It also outlines criteria for the print size and font size of the notice. The second method identified in the original guidance is use of broadcast media to convey the school’s nondiscrimination policy to all racial segments of the communities served by the school. Similar to print media, the guidance outlines requirements for frequency, timing, and duration of the announcements made using this method.

Revenue Procedure 2019-22 is a supplement to Revenue Procedure 75-50, not a replacement of it.

If you have questions related to the distribution of nondiscrimination policies, contact a Clark Nuber advisor.

© Clark Nuber PS, 2019. All Rights Reserved

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