PTAs and PTOs are both parent-teacher organizations. A “PTA” is a Parent Teacher Association that operates specifically under the national PTA. They pay dues to the national PTA and operate under the PTA’s guidelines. A “PTO” is a Parent Teacher Organization that is not affiliated with the national PTA. Either way, both PTAs and PTOs will need to have a tax ID.
PTAs and PTOs are tax-exempt, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to file a tax return. It just means they don’t need to pay taxes. PTAs and PTOs may also need to hire and pay employees and open business bank accounts, both of which require a Tax ID, also known as an employer identification number (EIN). It isn’t difficult to get an EIN. One can be acquired online within an hour.
Any PTA or PTO should be registered as its own entity, usually a non-profit organization. From there, it can acquire an EIN, and start operating with guidance from its board.