Cryonics donation fund for Kim Suozzi established by Society for Venturism

post by JGWeissman · 2012-08-25T03:09:50.992Z · score: 11 (22 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 17 comments

Following the news that Kim Suozzi has terminal brain cancer and wants to be cryopreserved, many of us have donated to help her out, while others, including me, planned to donate when CI set up a fund to receive donations on her behalf. Now the Society for Venturism has set up a fund, and it is time for us to follow through on those plans. (Unless you are really insisting that the fund be managed by CI specifically.)

(ETA: Kim has posted on this herself.)

17 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by LukeStebbing · 2012-08-25T04:35:31.017Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This concerns me (via STL):

IRS.gov: Automatic Revocation of Exemption Information

The federal tax exemption of this organization was automatically revoked for its failure to file a Form 990-series return or notice for three consecutive years. The information listed below for each organization is historical; it is current as of the organization's effective date of automatic revocation. The information is not necessarily current as of today's date. Nor does this automatic revocation necessarily reflect the organization's tax-exempt or non-exempt status. The organization may have applied to the IRS for recognition of exemption and been recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt after its effective date of automatic revocation. To check whether an organization is currently recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt, call Customer Account Services at (877) 829-5500 (toll-free number).

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2012-08-25T22:06:14.317Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I should also note that tax-exempt organizations generally cannot set up funds for particular individuals. At least, they can't do that and have donations be tax-deductible - I think they can safely administer an account.

comment by ShannonVyff · 2012-08-25T23:38:17.989Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I love the LessWrong community, it is great that this was found! David is contacting the IRS on Monday, as the Form 990-series was something we had not needed to turn in for many years. If we get the form in then the status is retroactive though, so he thinks it will be resolved within a week. When we raised funds for the preservation of William O' Rights in '08 and '09 people were able to use donations for tax deductions.

It should be clear that we do not raise money for an individual, as the money does not go to an individual. The money raised will only go to a cryonics organization to preserve a legally dead individual, if the person that the charity was set up for is not preserved for any reason then the money will be refunded to the donor if they wish.

Out of the 3 previous cryonics charity funds run by the Venturists, two were successful (one is still animate -James Swayze--and one was preserved -William O' Rights) when Marce was not able to be preserved many had their donations refunded and some chose to transfer their donation to William's case. Thank you to everyone that is helping Kim--she'd like to be preserved at either Alcor or Cryonics Institute depending on how much is raised. I have hope that we will at least get the funds for CI --she finds comfort in either as she says.

comment by JGWeissman · 2012-08-25T23:43:52.392Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

From Shannon Vyff in an email on this issue:

Let me explain what I heard from David. The notification of the Venturist status being on hold had been sent to an older address and not forwarded. David is looking into it and should have an answer on Monday. He is saying that it appears to be an error, since we were never notified that the tax status was on hold -and the reasons for it don't apply to our case. The reason was an automatic revocation from not receiving a 990 series form that the Ventursits had not needed to fill out for many years, so it looks like the issue will be resolved soon-within a week he thinks, he will also be writing you himself. The paperwork that said we were on hold, also says it may/or may not effect our tax deduction status--it looks like we just need to get the right paperwork in. The way the wording is, is that if we get the right form in our status is retroactively instated. I'm not sure when this started, but people were able to use donations to William O' Rights Cryonics Charity fund in '08 and '09 as a tax deduction.

Summary: There was confusion about paperwork requirements, and it should be resolved within a week.

(ETA: Shannon posts on this directly [? · GW])

comment by ShannonVyff · 2012-08-26T01:44:44.790Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Here is what David Pizer said,

"We have just learned that our tax deduction status was automatically and wrongfully suspended by the IRS for not filing a form 990. In the past the IRS confirmed that we don't have to file that form. However it seems recently their equipment automatically suspended us. We are tax exempt, they have made an error and I will contact them on Monday. There is a process where the retroactively remove the organization from their auto-recovation list. That is what we are going to ask them to do although Idon't know how long it will take them to restore us. Meanwhile, I believe that people can continue to make donations and deduct them."

comment by ShannonVyff · 2012-08-29T04:50:16.961Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

We have found more information out, it does seem that we can get it resolved but don't know exactly how long it will take. Over 200,000 organizations had the same thing happen to them so a lot has been written about it.

"Notice 2011-43 This notice provides transitional relief for certain small organizations that have lost their tax-exempt status because they failed to file a required annual electronic notice (Form 990-N e-Postcard) for taxable years beginning in 2007, 2008 and 2009. A small organization – that is, one that normally has annual gross receipts of not more than $50,000 in its most recently completed taxable year – that qualifies for the transitional relief under this notice and applies for reinstatement of tax-exempt status by December 31, 2012, will be treated by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) as having established reasonable cause for its filing failures and its tax-exempt status will be reinstated retroactive to the date it was automatically revoked."

Mark has been getting it resolved and has found some great information on the problem: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=240239,00.html

A cryonicist found these for us:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-11-43.pdf

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/n2011_44.pdf

http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=240101,00.html

http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=239696,00.html

http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=169250,00.html

comment by [deleted] · 2012-08-25T04:32:15.665Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thank you - just donated again. Do we have any information on how close Kim is to being funded?

comment by ewang · 2012-08-25T22:15:19.751Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Around $7000 as of yesterday.

http://suozlogs.wordpress.com/

comment by ShannonVyff · 2012-08-26T00:15:41.270Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Kim is sending a check of funds she has raised to the Venturist fund, mainly to ensure that all the funds are together in one place and the suspension can be more smooth. As you all know she is hoping to be preserved at either Alcor or CI depending on how much is raised. I'd feel a lot better if we were at least at CI funding levels, but we have a ways to go.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2012-08-25T22:05:42.943Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The key question everyone was asking is whether Kim's circumstances have been verified.

comment by ShannonVyff · 2012-08-25T23:28:04.109Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That is the first thing I asked when the story was sent to me. A cryonicist I knew saw her story on Reddit and forwarded it to me since I'm on the board of the Venturists and she thought we would consider for our Cryonics Charity Fund. http://venturist.info/kim-suozzi-charity.html The Venturists vet people, and we looked into her case after she was signed with Cryonics Institute as an unfunded member and signed with Alcor as an associate member.

I sent her medical records to Jonathan Weissman, she sent them to the Venturist Board but I don't think she wanted them up publicly-they certainly could be sent to potential donors though. I saw her vlog on youtube (she did a new one today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lISC8I_IiCg )

comment by JGWeissman · 2012-08-25T23:40:27.346Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I sent her medical records to Jonathan Weissman

I was not actually able to read them where they were hosted. But unless anyone says they would trust my verification and not Shannon's I don't think it is important to fix this. I think the important thing was an explicit statement from the Venturists that they have checked this out.

comment by ShannonVyff · 2012-08-26T00:12:45.206Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I talked with Andy at CI today, and he said that CI is not tax deductible. The Venturists have been in the past, and the notification we got saying it is on hold will retroactively instate our tax-deductible status after we get the right forms in. David Pizer is going to call to see what needs to be done on Monday, and he thinks the issue will be resolved within a week.

Andy didn't see there being a problem with CI giving money raised for an individual to Alcor, but thought the board would have to approve it.

Anyway, I want to see Kim be preserved. She has bravely come forward to her family about wanting to try cryonics, and has had some hostility. Her boyfriend of four years is supporting her, and her mother. Some of her family was upset with her saying she is an atheist, she is trying more "gentle" terms like humanist --but the funding isn't there from her family. I feel it is up to the cryonics community to help Kim, the money goes to a cryonics organization and the more people that are preserved the safer it is for all of us (more family caring about the preserved, more people with the potential to be alive that other cryonicists will look-out for). The cryonics community in general needs to discuss in what cases there should be charity, but Kim's case is clearly one of them.

comment by RobertLumley · 2012-08-25T15:27:42.684Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I keep reading this as the Society for Veritaserum and simultaneously getting really confused and thinking, oh, it must be trustworthy.

comment by prase · 2012-08-27T17:07:12.540Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

What is venturism?

comment by BRRichards · 2012-08-31T21:46:33.436Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't understand why it was necessary for people to give money to the Venturists. Alcor can accept the money directly. I see this as an unnecessary layer of complexity. Like the Aurora victims, I wonder how much of the donation money will be spent by the Vneturists on their overhead for this project...

comment by James_Miller · 2012-09-20T14:49:42.630Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Alcor would then have to give the money to CI if the amount raised was sufficient for a CI preservation but not an Alcor one.