Revenooer Rants: Court slaps private foundation: private inurement
Special to the Bonanza
A recent decision of a district court in the District of Columbia agreed with the Revenooers, who actually revoked the tax-exempt status of a foundation because some of its activities resulted in extraordinary benefits (“private inurement,” to use the vernacular of the bureaucrats) to the entity’s founder’s family.
Seems a decedent’s estate gave about $2.5 million to a foundation that had previously been put in place. The estate, of course, took a charitable deduction for estate tax purposes, resulting in zero, zip, nada being paid in estate taxes. Unfortunately, the foundation later awarded scholarships to two students, who were direct descendants of the decedent!
“No way,” shouted the Revenooers upon later audit – the foundation was found not to have qualified for exempt status in the first instance, because it failed two of three basic requirements. An organization is exempt from federal income taxation if:
It is organized and operated exclusively for an exempt purpose,
Its net earnings do not inure to the benefit of any private individual; and
Its activities do not attempt to influence legislation.
IRS had no trouble in concluding that the first two tests were failed. An organization is not operated exclusively for an exempt purpose unless it serves a public purpose, as opposed to a private interest.
In this case, not only were the scholarship recipients the estate’s beneficiaries, but also the foundation was apparently not operating as stated in its original tax exemption application filed with the IRS.
Private foundation rules are numerous and tricky — traps for the unwary abound.
And here comes a proposed freebie from the Revenooers — via a recent announcement, they are proposing that the value of identity protection services provided to consumers after possible breach of data security is not includible in the service recipient’s gross income for tax purposes!
It’s become common, especially recently, for businesses, government agencies and other organizations whose data systems have been breached, or “hacked” to provide credit reporting and monitoring services, identity theft insurance policies, identity restoration services, or other similar services (collectively, “identity protection services”) to customers or employees or other folk whose personal information may have been compromised — and at no charge.
If this proposal sticks, IRS will not assert that the value of these services be included in the recipient’s gross income — unless cash is received in lieu of these identity protection services.
CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISOR – This article contains general information about various tax matters. You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation. Jeff Quinn, is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno. He welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
An older friend I made when I began here in 2016 called the other day to talk about the paper. I hadn’t heard from her in awhile and, well, I’ve been here just long enough…