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Supporting Organizations Qualify As Public Charities-Ready Reference Page

Supporting Organizations Qualify As Public Charities-Ready Reference Page

As "supporting organizations" played an increasingly important role as a means of avoiding private foundation status over the decade preceding the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (the “Act”), Congress became concerned about apparent abuses.  The Act placed additional limits on supporting organizations, and particularly on Type III supporting organizations. Proposed regulations issued in 2009 provide insight into the IRS’s intended interpretation of the new limitations.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all Section 501(c)(3) charities are considered to be private foundations unless they can show the IRS that they qualify as public charities. Section 509(a) sets out three primary classifications of "publicly supported" organizations that are not considered private foundations and therefore avoid the excise tax on investment income and significant limitations, including limitations on self-dealing and lobbying.

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