dirty dozen

Protecting Nonprofits from the "Dirty Dozen"

by Sandra Pfau Englund on Aug 25, 2020

With COVID-19, the IRS informed the public about this year’s “Dirty Dozen.” This is a list of the exploitative scams associated with coronavirus tax relief, including Economic Impact Payments. Several of these scams target tax preparation and refunds. 

Our clients at RENOSI have asked, and continue to ask us, about the legitimacy of messages they receive. At RENOSI, we believe awareness is key to your safety and your nonprofit’s safety. 

What to watch out for and where it happens

We have summarized the most common exploitations affecting nonprofits below:

  • Phishing - Fake emails or websites request personal or account related information. These scams are designed to steal your personal information or login credentials. They may use terms like “coronavirus,” “COVID-19,” or “stimulus” to convince recipients to click links in images or text, or answer emails. 
    • It is important to check URLs in a message to ensure they navigate to a legitimate website before clicking.
  • Fake Charities - The easiest way to tell if a charity is legal is to ask for an EIN. A legitimate charity will provide theirs without issue. If not, search for the charity on the IRS website in the Tax Exempt Organization Search
  • Unscrupulous Return Preparers* - “Ghost” preparers do not sign tax returns but tell the taxpayer to sign instead, using this opportunity to obtain sensitive information.
    • Valid tax preparers must sign the return and provide a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number)
    • It is relevant to note that these scams include some type of verbiage along the lines of, “this organization is not associated with a government institution.”

*Here at RENOSI, we provide the necessary materials to make sure our clients are in compliance with IRS requirements (including proper PTIN on tax returns). We understand the nature of these exploitations and the “too good to be true” way they are offered. 

What we do

RENOSI provides the following forms and information:

  • IRS 1023/1024 applications
  • IRS Forms 990N, 990EZ, and 990 (full version)
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • EIN
  • Corporate annual reports
  • Fundraising (“charity”) registration
  • Income and franchise tax exemption
  • Sales tax registration and exemption
  • Gaming licenses (BINGO and raffles)
  • Group exemption IRS updates
  • and more!

RENOSI values your privacy. We will never provide your personal information to undisclosed parties. At RENOSI, you can put our power of nonprofit registration to work for you. We are always here to answer questions about suspicious messages and materials.


RENOSI is the leader in helping national organizations set up and manage affiliate chapters. Setting up local, regional and state affiliate chapters is an excellent way to grow your national organization. Managing hundreds and even thousands of chapters, however, is time-consuming and difficult.

Since its inception, RENOSI has provided a simple and stress-free solution to help obtain and maintain tax-exempt status for over 4,000 nonprofits. With the interactive myRENOSI dashboard, our partners can organize their state and federal registrations, allowing our team of experts to help ensure your tax-exempt status is not revoked.