How do we get our former treasurer to return our corporation's tax records?

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Question:

I'm a director of a small, 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Recently, our treasurer was voted out of office and he now refuses to hand over the financial and tax records of our corporation. I am at my wits' end trying to figure out how to get our records back. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer:

Your best bet at this point is to contact the charitable trusts section of the state attorney general's office. The situation you describe is right up their alley. A nonprofit holds its assets in trust for the public and your former treasurer is interfering with that trust. A letter or phone call from someone at the attorney general's enforcement division may bring about the desired results quickly.

You could also call a lawyer -- there are any number of legal theories a clever litigation attorney could come up with to sue your former treasurer. But this approach will cost money and could involve more time and headaches than you want.

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