What Is the Difference Between a Private Foundation and a Public Charity?

An Estate Planning FAQ with Mary E. Vandenack.

Private foundations and public charities are both tax exempt entities under section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code. The differences are that a public charity qualifies for a little more in terms of tax benefits. If you make a contribution to an organization that qualifies as a public charity, there is a little bit larger percentage that you can deduct in certain circumstances. The limitations aren’t as significant on the private foundation. The public charity is typically one that benefits the public at large rather than a smaller group. The private foundation is more typically formed by a smaller group and benefits a smaller group of individuals.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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What Is a 501c3?

An Estate Planning FAQ with Mary E. Vandenack.

501(c)(3) is actually a section of the tax code that provides for the ability of an entity to fit into certain parameters and claim tax exempt status. In the section 501(c)(3) there are actually quite a few different types of organizations that will qualify for tax exempt status. The type that most people are familiar with is the public charity, so the American Red Cross and organizations like that are typically tax exempt entities and are actually subject to certain types of taxes but they have a general tax exempt status.

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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IRS Now Accepting Streamlined Form 1023-EZ

By M. Thomas Langan II.

The IRS is now accepting a new shorter tax-exempt application form intended to help small charities apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status more easily. The form, 1023-EZ, is only 3 pages long compared to full form that is 26 pages. Most organizations with gross receipts of $50,000 or less and assets of $250,000 or less are eligible to use the form.  The IRS expects around 70% of all applicants will qualify to use the shorter form.  Form 1023-EZ must be filed online and there is a $400 filing fee.

The form can be viewed here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1023ez.pdf

© 2014 Parsonage Vandenack Williams LLC

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PVWLaw Private Foundations Video

If you have the desire to be actively involved in a charitable mission over time, you may want to consider establishing a private foundation. Our new video will give you basic information on the 3 main types of private foundations and the rules to follow in order to ensure your foundation maintains its tax exempt status.