TREADWAY — Since its founding in 1980, Treadway Volunteer Fire Department has been recognized by the IRS as a Section 501©(4) not- for-profit, tax-exempt organization.

According to Fire Chief Doug Brown, what this meant was that the department had a sales tax exemption, but that donations made to the department by individuals or companies could not be deducted from their taxes as a “charitable” donation.

The department made application with the IRS to have its status changed to a Section 501 ©(3) earlier this year, and on April 30, 2020, received a letter from the IRS designating it as a public charity stating, “We’re pleased to tell you we determined you’re exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501©(3). Donors can deduct contributions they make to you under IRC Section 170. You’re also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under Section 2055, 2106, or 2522.”

This change in the department’s tax status from a not-for-profit to a “public charity” will allow the department to apply for more grants that are only available to such 501©(3) public charity organizations, Brown said.

It will also allow anyone who makes donations to the department to be able to deduct those donations from their taxes, he added.

The only funding sources for the department, currently, are donations and its monthly fish supper. The department is also hoping that donations will increase, now that those donations are tax deductible. All of these changes at the department are in an effort to increase the department’s ability to better serve the citizens they protect, not only in Treadway, but also with the other fire departments they respond with, including Chestnut Ridge, Sneedville, Camps, Kyles Ford/Panther Creek, Vardy/Blackwater, Alanthus Hill, Thorn Hill (Grainger County), Clinch Valley and Lakeview (Hawkins County).

The department would like to thank everyone who has supported them in the past and looks forward to and hopes for continuing support in the future, Chief Brown concluded.

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