Pre Launch Status (Feb 2010)
COM = Cross on the Moon; Dear friends and supporters of COM, the IRS verbally stated 2 days ago they would not grant Federal Tax exemption to COM. We have discussed for hours and given them many pounds of documentation to answer questions since November 2009. Each time they came back with a different set, seeming to be looking for ways to deny our application and not saying why COM does not meet the religious, educational , or scientific conditions for a 501 (c)-3 organization. At the end of last week, the agent in charge of our case called to tell me that she would be denying our request. The reasons are not clear to me but must be very specific in their formal letter of denial. A hint at what the reason might be is that COM is using a private contractor to bring the cross to the moon. If true, then it is unreasonable since many non-profit organizations hire private companies to meet their goals. Another reason mentioned was that there was no actual date for placing a cross on the moon. The IRS agent said that there could be a perception of collecting donations for an event that might never occur. Since our first conversations with the IRS, the agent in charge did not believe it was possible for a private organization to launch a rocket to the moon. I was asked for government launch certifications and safety documents when we first started. Much of our early documentation was also to support the viability of the project. We used the efforts of the Lunar X Prize Foundation to demonstrate credibility. It is ironic since the IRS has granted this foundation with a 501(c) non-profit status.
All this background information is to say COM will not give up. We will remain persistent. We will continue to negotiate and if denied in writing, we will appeal the official ruling within 30 days of receiving their letter. What this means is that your donation is not tax deductible on your 2009 federal tax statement at this time. When we receive the letter of acceptance, and we will, then your donation becomes retroactively deductible from our date of filing. In other words, 2009 would be accepted but not without reversing the IRS verbal decision we were given a few days ago. We are however registered as a charitable non-profit in the State of Pennsylvania. This is small consolation for those filing in that state.
I leave you this month with a definition of persistence that Dr. Bruce Bickel gave before 80 men at our regular Friday 6:30 am Bible study.
“Persistence is remaining in a situation without demanding to be rescued”
I remain your servant,
President, Cross on the Moon