If a 501(c)(7) social club pays the start up costs of a related 501(c)(3) charitable organization, may the 501(c)(3) later reimburse the 501(c)(7) for those costs?
A social club or any other person may recover the start-up costs of a charitable organization if the transaction is structured correctly at the outset. The costs ought to be loaned to the new entity and the officers of the new entity ought to provide contemporaneous written documentation of the obligation to repay. If that obligation is not established at the outset, and if the start-up costs could therefore be considered a contribution, the organization will have a hard time justifying the gift of charitable assets to a non-charitable entity for a purpose not within the mission of the organization. If the loan carries interest, the rate should be no greater than the ordinary commercial rate for a similar loan or the lender could be subject to excess benefit tax.