By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Thousands of small nonprofit organizations are in jeopardy of losing their tax exempt status, and donors won’t be able to write contributions off their taxes.

Pat Warren explains a little-known IRS regulation is catching them off guard.

It’s the little things that make a difference. And that’s especially true of the thousands of small volunteer organizations that make a huge difference in quality of life. Groups like the Delta Lambda Foundation.

“We take food to the elderly. We mentor the young people,” said Paul Ford, Delta Lambda Foundation.

And Delta Lambda is among 6,000 Maryland nonprofits in danger of losing tax exempt status.

“Our organization is in jeopardy,” Ford said.

That’s because Paul Ford and thousands like him haven’t heard of a new IRS filing regulation. Comptroller Peter Franchot and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger are spreading the word.

Warren: “What would have happened if you hadn’t just walked past this news conference?”

Ford: “I guess it would have been an ‘uh-oh.'”

It those “uh-ohs” you want to avoid.

“It’s not our policy, we’re just helping communicate to our citizens that they need to make this filing,” said Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot. “The congressman is right, it’s not a big deal. A lot of this can be filed electronically.”

“But the big deal is losing the status. That’s a whole different thing. It’s very hard to get status back,” Md. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger added.

And once that status is lost, donors can no longer claim their contributions.

Anyone who needs help can contact the comptroller’s office.

The comptroller’s office is mailing letters to organizations on the list of those who have not kept up with their IRS paperwork.