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Table of Contents


In general; proof of exemption.


Section 501(a) provides an exemption from income taxes for organizations which are described in section 501 (c) or (d) and section 401(a), unless such organization is a feeder organization (see section 502), or unless it engages in a transaction described in section 503. However, the exemption does not extend to unrelated business taxable income of such an organization (see part III (Section 511 and following), subchapter F, chapter 1 of the Code).


[Reserved] For further guidance, see § 1.501(a)-1T(a)(2).


An organization claiming exemption under section 501(a) and described in any paragraph of section 501(c) (other than section 501(c)(1) shall file the form of application prescribed by the Commissioner and shall include thereon such information as required by such form and the instructions issued with respect thereto. For rules relating to the obtaining of a determination of exempt status by an employees' trust described in section 401(a), see the regulations under section 401.


Additional proof by particular classes of organizations.


[Reserved] For further guidance, see § 1.501(a)-1T(b)(1).


In addition to the information specifically called for by this section, the Commissioner may require any additional information deemed necessary for a proper determination of whether a particular organization is exempt under section 501(a), and when deemed advisable in the interest of an efficient administration of the internal revenue laws, he may in the cases of particular types of organizations prescribe the form in which the proof of exemption shall be furnished.


[Reserved] For further guidance, see § 1.501(a)-1T(b)(3).


Private shareholder or individual defined. The words private shareholder or individual in section 501 refer to persons having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization.


Requirement of annual returns. For the annual return requirements of organizations exempt under section 501(a), see section 6033 and § 1.6033-1.


Certain Puerto Rican pension, etc., trusts. Effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 1973, section 1022(i)(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) (88 Stat. 942) provides that trusts under certain Puerto Rican pension, etc., plans (as defined under P.R. Laws Ann. tit. 13, section 3165, and the articles thereunder), all of the participants of which are residents of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, are to be treated only for purposes of section 501(a) as trusts described in section 401(a). The practical effect of section 1022(i)(1) is to exempt these trusts from U.S. income tax on income from their U.S. investments. For purposes of section 1022(i)(1), the term residents of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico means bona fide residents of Puerto Rico, and persons who perform labor or services primarily within the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, regardless of residence for other purposes, and the term participants is restricted to current employees who are not excluded under the eligibility provisions of the plan.


[Reserved] For further guidance, see § 1.501(a)-1T(f).

[T.D. 6500, 25 FR 11737, Nov. 26, 1960, as amended by T.D. 7428, 41 FR 34619, Aug. 16, 1976; T.D. 7859, 47 FR 54298, Dec. 2, 1982; T.D. 9674, 79 FR 37631, July 2, 2014]