Late Form 990
Nonprofit Tax

Nonprofits Filing Late Form 990 Face Steep Penalties

Fortunately, for nonprofits with reasonable cause for filing late, there is a silver lining. Code Section 6652(c)(3) provides that penalties assessed for late filing may be waived when the late filing was due to reasonable cause. Accordingly, the IRS will consider waiving the penalties (but not the interest) where the organization can prove the late filing was due to reasonable cause.

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Nonprofit Lobbying

Nonprofit Lobbying – Yes You Can!

A common misconception among nonprofits is that they can’t lobby. In reality, this restriction applies only to private foundations, not public charities. Public charities are explicitly permitted to lobby so long as they adhere to limits.

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private foundation vs private inurement
Starting a nonprofit

Nonprofit Law Jargon Buster – Private Inurement v. Private Benefit

The private inurement rule and private benefit rules exist to ensure that charitable assets are preserved for the benefit of the public and not diverted to private use. This is a fundamental concept that distinguishes tax-exempt organizations from for-profits.

The rules originate in the language of Code Section 501(c)(3). Code Section 501(c)(3) contains the specific requirement that:

[N]o part of the net earnings of [the exempt organization] inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual . . . .

In addition, under the regulations, an organization is not treated as organized and operated for exclusively exempt purposes unless it serves a public rather than a private interest, Based on this provision, tax exempt status is not available to any organization if its net earnings inure to the benefit of private individuals in whole or in part.

In practice, the law distinguishes between different degrees of inurement depending upon who is being benefitted. The two types of inurement are referred to as private inurement and public benefit.

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How to Start a Non-Profit Organization

Download our free guide to learn about the many elements needed to run a successful nonprofit organization, as well as how to avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.