Strive to Excel files for tax deadline extension

rheaton@beaufortgazette.comOctober 17, 2011 

Strive to Excel, a nonprofit mentoring program based at Hilton Head Island High School, has asked for a three-month extension to file its federal tax returns.

Bob Arundell, an attorney who prepares the organization's taxes, said previously he had hoped to file Strive's federal forms for the 2010-11 fiscal year ahead of Monday's deadline.

But in a letter to The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette dated Saturday, Arundell said the organization has requested an extension.

The IRS allows an automatic three-month extension, he wrote, noting Strive has used the extension each of the past few years. The letter included a copy of the extension application.

Arundell declined a telephone interview Monday, but his letter pointed out that extension requests are common -- 10 million individuals and 5 million businesses filed for them last year, he said.

Strive's finances have been under scrutiny since it was learned president Tim Singleton's compensation increased by more than $40,000 last fiscal year without approval from the organization's board of directors, as required by its bylaws. Also, the board had not held a formal meeting since April 2008 until it was reconstituted last month. State law requires nonprofit boards to conduct annual meetings.

The S.C. Secretary of State Office said in September that Strive was on a list of organizations that its investigator intends to "look into" soon. Asked Monday for an update of Strive's status, media relations director Renee Daggerhart said the office will not comment on a pending inquiry or investigation.

Strive board secretary Tom Gardo said Monday the Secretary of State has not contacted Strive.

Gardo has said Strive intends to seek an independent auditor to review finances from the past fiscal year and to make the findings public. However, the group probably cannot afford to audit the entire period Singleton ran the program without official board supervision, Gardo added.

Editor Jeff Kidd contributed to this report.

South Carolina Nonprofit Corporation Act

Sources: Singleton has long muddled mission, finances of Strive, football; Oct. 2, 2011

Superintendent announces Strive to Excel changes; Sept. 20, 2011

Follow reporter Rachel Heaton at twitter.com/HomeroomBft.

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