The Internal Revenue Service says as many as 1,700 small community-based nonprofits in Maine are in jeopardy of losing their tax-exempt status, which would affect charitable work and their donors’ potential tax deductions.

Among the organizations at risk are local sports associations and community support groups, volunteer fire and ambulance associations and their auxiliaries, social clubs, educational societies, veterans groups, church-affiliated groups, groups designed to assist those with special needs and a variety of others.

The organizations are at risk because they failed to file the required returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009, according to IRS records.

The requirement to file is the result of a tax law change that occurred in 2006. Complying with the new law may be as simple as completing a 10-minute form online, but only if they file by Oct. 15, the IRS said in a news release.

A list of the organizations at risk as of the end of July is posted at along with instructions on how to comply with the new law.