Nonprofit Resources


IRS to Allow Schools to Publicize Nondiscrimination Policies Online

Every tax-exempt school must annually certify to the IRS that it does not discriminate on the basis of race. Schools that file IRS Form 990 provide this certification on Schedule E. Schools that do not file Form 990 use IRS Form 5578.

Rev. Proc. 75-50 provides guidelines and recordkeeping requirements for certifying nondiscrimination. One of the requirements is that the school must annually publicize its nondiscrimination policy. Previously, the two approved methods for doing so were newspapers and broadcast media. The IRS has amended Rev. Proc. 75-50 to add a third option, the school’s website. This change is effective May 28, 2019.

According to the amendment, a school can now display a notice of its racial nondiscrimination policy “on its primary publicly accessible Internet homepage at all times during its taxable year (excluding temporary outages due to website maintenance or technical problems) in a manner reasonably expected to be noticed by visitors to the homepage.”

What does “a manner reasonably expected to be noticed” mean? The IRS provides this guidance:

Factors to be considered in determining whether a notice is reasonably expected to be noticed by visitors to the homepage include the size, color, and graphic treatment of the notice in relation to other parts of the homepage, whether the notice is unavoidable, whether other parts of the homepage distract attention from the notice, and whether the notice is visible without a visitor having to do anything other than simple scrolling on the homepage.

The IRS also provides this notice, which is the same as the notice for publicizing a nondiscrimination policy in a newspaper:


The M school admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

Note that:

  • The homepage must be accessible without requiring the site visitor to enter information (such as a username or password)
  • The notice must be on the homepage itself, rather than available through a link, a rotating carousel, or a drop-down menu
  • If your school does not have its own website but does have webpages contained within another website, you may display the notice on your primary landing page

Failure to annually certify compliance and failure to comply with the requirements may be treated as evidence of racial discrimination. Religious schools have lost their tax exemption because of racial discrimination.

You can learn more about the requirements in this article. Please contact us with any questions.

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