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Reader Question – Proxy Voting at Annual Meeting

Reader Question – Proxy Voting At Annual Meeting
Question

Jo asks:

Can person(s) have a proxy for an Annual Congregational meeting when voting on the annual church budget?  Are there any guidelines of when it is permissible to have a proxy if you cannot attend a meeting because of what the person deems as an important reason?

Answer

Greg McRay responds:

Whether or not proxy voting is allowed depends on two things: state law and your bylaws. The IRS is silent on the matter. First, you need to know if your state nonprofit corporate law allows proxy voting. Many states, like the IRS, are silent on the issue, but some are not. Assuming it’s OK with your state, your bylaws need to specifically allow for it and spell out how it must work to be legitimate.

Also, some churches operate as an unincorporated association, in which case state corporate law wouldn’t apply. You would rely solely on the bylaws in most cases.

From time to time, we highlight a reader question that was submitted in response to another article. We try to pick questions that will resonate with a broad audience. In other words, if the asker is wondering about this issue, many others probably are, as well!

Greg McRay, EA

Greg McRay is the founder and CEO of The Foundation Group. He is registered with the IRS as an Enrolled Agent and specializes in 501(c)(3) and other tax exemption issues.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. It’s handy to keep a copy of your bylaws within easy access to answer questions like this. I’ve seen lots of nonprofits that don’t have any idea where their bylaws are.

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