Finally, *finally*,…

Finally, *finally*, there appears to be some movement on the Strange Horizons IRS front. You may or may not know that we're a non-profit magazine. What that means is that's we've incorporated as a non-profit, which mostly means that if we ever dissolved the magazine, any funds we were currently holding (after all expenses were paid) -- our profit (ha ha, it is to laugh at the very concept) -- would not stay in our hot little hands, but would be disbursed to other lovely non-profit organizations. Since we don't intend to ever have an actual profit, this part of being a non-profit is largely irrelevant to us. However.

Being incorporated also put us in a position to apply for IRS tax-exempt 501(c)3 status (on the ground of being a literary organization). If the IRS chooses to approve that, then all donations to SH become tax-deductible. Which is lovely for our donors, and lovely for us because some people have said that they would donate if they could write it off, and others said they would donate more than they already are. As well, some companies offer matching funds for this kind of donation. (As Alex pointed out the last time I asked him for money (yes, I routinely hit up my friends for money for SH, but only the ones who already love spec fic), he could give us $500 this year without the 501(c)3 -- or he could give us $1000 next year with the 501(c)3 (since he'd be getting a tax break on it) *and* his company might give us a $1000 too. No guarantee of that part, but it couldn't hurt to ask.)

In theory, 501(c)3 status would even allow us to apply for arts grant funding, though the odds of those organizations giving money to a skiffy magazine might be a little slim. So 501(c)3 status is a lovely thing, a highly desirable thing (we'd also get a pretty little no-tax card to use when we bought supplies for SH, like Susan's envelopes and stamps for mailing out checks and contracts, or for our t-shirts and mugs and such). We wants it, my precious.

We applied once. They lost the application. We applied again (granted, it took us a little while to get around to it the second time). We waited four months, and just yesterday Brian got a letter from the IRS, dated January 10, postmarked much later, saying that we had until January 31, 2003 to answer all their questions in full or they would a) assume that we weren't interested, b) would close our case, and c) our shown lack of interest would be taken into account if we later attempted to contest that decision. To which I can only say argh...

So Susan and Jed and Brian and I scrambled yesterday, coming up with answers to their questions (the questions themselves are fine, mostly designed to clarify the ways in which we actually function as a literary non-profit). Brian will put it all together today and Fed Ex it to the IRS for tomorrow. And we'll cross our fingers and wait. So y'all think good thoughts for us -- cross your fingers, say a prayer, use whatever means you have for sending good energy in the direction of us and the government (heh -- now that's a request you don't see every day -- good energy to the government!), so they get our forms in time, like what they see, and approve our application. Me, I'll be holding my breath.

And while we wait, we can all read Strange Horizons -- Beth Bernobich's two-part story is entirely up now, and Jay Lake has started his twelve-part short-short story cycle, based on an old English song. And of course, we have poetry, reviews, and a particularly incomprehensible astronomy article (okay, it's just got a lot of math, it may be perfectly comprehensible to those of you whose eyes don't automatically glaze over when confronted with lots of math).

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