Nonprofit Standard Mail Rates

Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012

H.R. 2309, the postal reform bill, will be going to the House floor for a vote later this summer without Section 403.  Nonprofit organizations should be excited because Section 403 would have decreased the discount on nonprofit postal rates over a 12 year period.  Specifically, the bill called for “an additional 2 percentage points as of the first day of each calendar year beginning at least 3 years after the date of the enactment of the Postal Reform Act of 2012, until such percentage reaches 80 percent.”  In the end, the discounted rate would only be 20% as opposed to the 40% discount nonprofits currently receive.

Congress reduced standard postage rates for nonprofits in 1951 for organizations meeting stated eligibility requirements.  The eight categories of eligible nonprofit organizations are religious, educational, scientific, philanthropic (charitable), agricultural, labor, veterans, and fraternal.  State, county, and municipal governmental organizations, as well as political organizations, service clubs and social clubs are specifically exempt from receiving the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates.  There are also eligibility requirements on the material that can be mailed under the discounted rates.  Bills, statements of account, handwritten materials or personal correspondence do not qualify under the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates.

In order to receive the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates, an organization needs to complete PS Form 3624, Application to Mail at Nonprofit Standard Mail Rates that can be obtained online or at any Post Office.  Beginning in September 2008, organizations can also apply electronically through PostalOne! Applying through PostalOne! provides one National Authorization Number valid at any USPS mailing location.  In addition to the application, the organization must also submit the following attachments.

  1. A copy of its IRS letter of exemption,
  2. Organizing documents that state the purpose for which the group is organized (articles of incorporation), and
  3. Documents showing how the organization actually operated during the previous 6 – 12 months, and how it will operate in the future (financial statements, newsletters, minutes, etc.).

The attachments can be submitted electronically or as hard copy when applying through PostalOne!

Other forms available at PostalOne! are PS Form 3623, Request for Confirmation of Authorization, which provides confirmation to mail at a non-PostalOne! office and PS Form 6015, Nonprofit Database Change Request, which allows for either a name change or contact information change of an organization.

While the application is pending, the organization must pay postage at regular rates.  A refund may be made to the organization for the difference between the regular rate paid and the discounted nonprofit rate while the application is pending.

The organization must make at least one mailing at the Nonprofit Standard Mail rate during a 2 year period or the authorization to mail at the nonprofit rate will be automatically revoked for nonuse.

As a nonprofit, reduced mailing rates are one benefit your organization does not want to miss out on.

Posted by: Carrie Minnich, CPA

Posted in Mission Minded Nonprofits

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