Want more? Register today for a trial. 7-day trial
§ 53.4941(d)-2 Specific acts of self-dealing.

Except as provided in § 53.4941(d)-3 or § 53.4941(d)-4:

(a) Sale or exchange of property -

(1) In general. The sale or exchange of property between a private foundation and a disqualified person shall constitute an act of self-dealing. For example, the sale of incidental supplies by a disqualified person to a private foundation shall be an act of self-dealing regardless of the amount paid to the disqualified person for the incidental supplies. Similarly, the sale of stock or other securities by a disqualified person to a private foundation in a “bargain sale” shall be an act of self-dealing regardless of the amount paid for such stock or other securities. An installment sale may be subject to the provisions of both section 4941(d)(1)(A) and section 4941(d)(1)(B).

(2) Mortgaged property. For purposes of subparagraph (1) of this paragraph, the transfer of real or personal property by a disqualified person to a private foundation shall be treated as a sale or exchange if the foundation assumes a mortgage or similar lien which was placed on the property prior to the transfer, or takes subject to a mortgage or similar lien which a disqualified person placed on the property within the 10-year period ending on the date of transfer. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “similar lien” shall include, but is not limited to, deeds of trust and vendors' liens, but shall not include any other lien if such lien is insignificant in relation to the fair market value of the property transferred.

(b) Leases -

(1) In general. Except as provided in subparagraphs (2) and (3) of this paragraph, the leasing of property between a disqualified person and a private foundation shall constitute an act of self-dealing.

(2) Certain leases without charge. The leasing of property by a disqualified person to a private foundation shall not be an act of self-dealing if the lease is without charge. For purposes of this subparagraph, a lease shall be considered to be without charge even though the private foundation pays for janitorial services, utilities, or other maintenance costs it incurs for the use of the property, so long as the payment is not made directly or indirectly to a disqualified person.

(3) Certain leases of office space. For taxable years beginning after December 31, 1979, the leasing of office space by a disqualified person to a private foundation shall not be an act of self-dealing if:

(i) The leased space is in a building in which there are other tenants who are not disqualified persons,

(ii) The lease is pursuant to a binding lease which was in effect on October 9, 1969, or pursuant to renewals of such a lease,

(iii) The execution of the lease was not a prohibited transaction (within the meaning of section 503(b) or the corresponding provisions of prior law) at the time of such execution, and

(iv) The terms of the lease (or any renewal) reflect an arm's length transaction.

A lease or renewal of such lease is described in this subparagraph (3) only if it satisfies the requirements of § 53.4941(d)-4(c) (1) and (2), applied without regard to the December 31, 1979 deadline described therein.

(c) Loans -

(1) In general. Except as provided in subparagraphs (2), (3), and (4) of this paragraph, the lending of money or other extension of credit between a private foundation and a disqualified person shall constitute an act of self-dealing. Thus, for example, an act of self-dealing occurs where a third party purchases property and assumes a mortgage, the mortgagee of which is a private foundation, and subsequently the third party transfers the property to a disqualified person who either assumes liability under the mortgage or takes the property subject to the mortgage. Similarly, except in the case of the receipt and holding of a note pursuant to a transaction described in § 53.4941(d)-1(b)(3), an act of self-dealing occurs where a note, the obligor of which is a disqualified person, is transferred by a third party to a private foundation which becomes the creditor under the note.

(2) Loans without interest. Subparagraph (1) of this paragraph shall not apply to the lending of money or other extension of credit by a disqualified person to a private foundation if the loan or other extension of credit is without interest or other charge.

(3) Certain evidences of future gifts. The making of a promise, pledge, or similar arrangement to a private foundation by a disqualified person, whether evidenced by an oral or written agreement, a promissory note, or other instrument of indebtedness, to the extent motivated by charitable intent and unsupported by consideration, is not an extension of credit (within the meaning of this paragraph) before the date of maturity.

(4) General banking functions. Under section 4941(d)(2)(E) the performance by a bank or trust company which is a disqualified person of trust functions and certain general banking services for a private foundation is not an act of self-dealing, where the banking services are reasonable and necessary to carrying out the exempt purposes of the private foundation, if the compensation paid to the bank or trust company, taking into account the fair interest rate for the use of the funds by the bank or trust company, for such services is not excessive. The general banking services allowed by this subparagraph are:

(i) Checking accounts, as long as the bank does not charge interest on any overwithdrawals,

(ii) Savings accounts, as long as the foundation may withdraw its funds on no more than 30-days notice without subjecting itself to a loss of interest on its money for the time during which the money was on deposit, and

(iii) Safekeeping activities.

See example (3) § 53.4941(d)-3(c)(2).

(d) Furnishing goods, services, or facilities -

(1) In general. Except as provided in subparagraph (2) or (3) of this paragraph (or § 53.4941(d)-3(b)), the furnishing of goods, services, or facilities between a private foundation and a disqualified person shall constitute an act of self-dealing. This subparagraph shall apply, for example, to the furnishing of goods, services, or facilities such as office space, automobiles, auditoriums, secretarial help, meals, libraries, publications, laboratories, or parking lots. Thus, for example, if a foundation furnishes personal living quarters to a disqualified person (other than a foundation manager or employee) without charge, such furnishing shall be an act of self-dealing.

(2) Furnishing of goods, services, or facilities to foundation managers and employees. The furnishing of goods, services, or facilities such as those described in subparagraph (1) of this paragraph to a foundation manager in recognition of his services as a foundation manager, or to another employee (including an individual who would be an employee but for the fact that he receives no compensation for his services) in recognition of his services in such capacity, is not an act of self-dealing if the value of such furnishing (whether or not includible as compensation in his gross income) is reasonable and necessary to the performance of his tasks in carrying out the exempt purposes of the foundation and, taken in conjunction with any other payment of compensation or payment or reimbursement of expenses to him by the foundation, is not excessive. For example, if a foundation furnishes meals and lodging which are reasonable and necessary (but not excessive) to a foundation manager by reason of his being a foundation manager, then, without regard to whether such meals and lodging are excludable from gross income under section 119 as furnished for the convenience of the employer, such furnishing is not an act of self-dealing. For the effect of section 4945(d)(5) upon an expenditure for unreasonable administrative expenses, see § 53.4945-6(b)(2).

(3) Furnishing of goods, services, or facilities by a disqualified person without charge. The furnishing of goods, services, or facilities by a disqualified person to a private foundation shall not be an act of self-dealing if they are furnished without charge. Thus, for example, the furnishing of goods such as pencils, stationery, or other incidental supplies, or the furnishing of facilities such as a building, by a disqualified person to a foundation shall be allowed if such supplies or facilities are furnished without charge. Similarly, the furnishing of services (even though such services are not personal in nature) shall be permitted if such furnishing is without charge. For purposes of this subparagraph, a furnishing of goods shall be considered without charge even though the private foundation pays for transportation, insurance, or maintenance costs it incurs in obtaining or using the property, so long as the payment is not made directly or indirectly to the disqualified person.

(e) Payment of compensation. The payment of compensation (or payment or reimbursement of expenses) by a private foundation to a disqualified person shall constitute an act of self-dealing. See, however, § 53.4941(d)-3(c) for the exception for the payment of compensation by a foundation to a disqualified person for personal services which are reasonable and necessary to carry out the exempt purposes of the foundation.

(f) Transfer or use of the income or assets of a private foundation -

(1) In general. The transfer to, or use by or for the benefit of, a disqualified person of the income or assets of a private foundation shall constitute an act of self-dealing. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the purchase or sale of stock or other securities by a private foundation shall be an act of self-dealing if such purchase or sale is made in an attempt to manipulate the price of the stock or other securities to the advantage of a disqualified person. Similarly, the indemnification (of a lender) or guarantee (of repayment) by a private foundation with respect to a loan to a disqualified person shall be treated as a use for the benefit of a disqualified person of the income or assets of the foundation (within the meaning of this subparagraph). In addition, if a private foundation makes a grant or other payment which satisfies the legal obligation of a disqualified person, such grant or payment shall ordinarily constitute an act of self-dealing to which this subparagraph applies. However, if a private foundation makes a grant or payment which satisfies a pledge, enforceable under local law, to an organization described in section 501(c)(3), which pledge is made on or before April 16, 1973, such grant or payment shall not constitute an act of self-dealing to which this subparagraph applies so long as the disqualified person obtains no substantial benefit, other than the satisfaction of his obligation, from such grant or payment.

(2) Certain incidental benefits. The fact that a disqualified person receives an incidental or tenuous benefit from the use by a foundation of its income or assets will not, by itself, make such use an act of self-dealing. Thus, the public recognition a person may receive, arising from the charitable activities of a private foundation to which such person is a substantial contributor, does not in itself result in an act of self-dealing since generally the benefit is incidental and tenuous. For example, a grant by a private foundation to a section 509(a) (1), (2), or (3) organization will not be an act of self-dealing merely because such organization is located in the same area as a corporation which is a substantial contributor to the foundation, or merely because one of the section 509(a) (1), (2), or (3) organization's officers, directors, or trustees is also a manager of or a substantial contributor to the foundation. Similarly, a scholarship or a fellowship grant to a person other than a disqualified person, which is paid or incurred by a private foundation in accordance with a program which is consistent with:

(i) The requirements of the foundation's exempt status under section 501(c)(3),

(ii) The requirements for the allowance of deductions under section 170 for contributions made to the foundation, and

(iii) The requirements of section 4945(g)(1),

will not be an act of self-dealing under section 4941(d)(1) merely because a disqualified person indirectly receives an incidental benefit from such grant. Thus, a scholarship or a fellowship grant made by a private foundation in accordance with a program to award scholarships or fellowship grants to the children of employees of a substantial contributor shall not constitute an act of self-dealing if the requirements of the preceding sentence are satisfied. For an example of the kind of scholarship program with an employment nexus that meets the above requirements, see § 53.4945-4(b)(5) (example 1).

(3) Non-compensatory indemnification of foundation managers against liability for defense in civil proceedings.

(i) Except as provided in § 53.4941(d)-3(c), section 4941(d)(1) shall not apply to the indemnification by a private foundation of a foundation manager, with respect to the manager's defense in any civil judicial or civil administrative proceeding arising out of the manager's performance of services (or failure to perform services) on behalf of the foundation, against all expenses (other than taxes, including taxes imposed by chapter 42, penalties, or expenses of correction) including attorneys' fees, judgments and settlement expenditures if -

(A) Such expenses are reasonably incurred by the manager in connection with such proceeding; and

(B) The manager has not acted willfully and without reasonable cause with respect to the act or failure to act which led to such proceeding or to liability for tax under chapter 42.

(ii) Similarly, except as provided in § 53.4941(d)-3(c), section 4941(d)(1) shall not apply to premiums for insurance to make or to reimburse a foundation for an indemnification payment allowed pursuant to this paragraph (f)(3). Neither shall an indemnification or payment of insurance allowed pursuant to this paragraph (f)(3) be treated as part of the compensation paid to such manager for purposes of determining whether the compensation is reasonable under chapter 42.

(4) Compensatory indemnification of foundation managers against liability for defense in civil proceedings.

(i) The indemnification by a private foundation of a foundation manager for compensatory expenses shall be an act of self-dealing under this paragraph unless when such payment is added to other compensation paid to such manager the total compensation is reasonable under chapter 42. A compensatory expense for purposes of this paragraph (f) is -

(A) Any penalty, tax (including a tax imposed by chapter 42), or expense of correction that is owed by the foundation manager;

(B) Any expense not reasonably incurred by the manager in connection with a civil judicial or civil administrative proceeding arising out of the manager's performance of services on behalf of the foundation; or

(C) Any expense resulting from an act or failure to act with respect to which the manager has acted willfully and without reasonable cause.

(ii) Similarly, the payment by a private foundation of the premiums for an insurance policy providing liability insurance to a foundation manager for expenses described in this paragraph (f)(4) shall be an act of self-dealing under this paragraph (f) unless when such premiums are added to other compensation paid to such manager the total compensation is reasonable under chapter 42.

(5) Insurance allocation. A private foundation shall not be engaged in an act of self-dealing if the foundation purchases a single insurance policy to provide its managers both the noncompensatory and the compensatory coverage discussed in this paragraph (f), provided that the total insurance premium is allocated and that each manager's portion of the premium attributable to the compensatory coverage is included in that manager's compensation for purposes of determining reasonable compensation under chapter 42.

(6) Indemnification. For purposes of this paragraph (f), the term indemnification shall include not only reimbursement by the foundation for expenses that the foundation manager has already incurred or anticipates incurring but also direct payment by the foundation of such expenses as the expenses arise.

(7) Taxable income. The determination of whether any amount of indemnification or insurance premium discussed in this paragraph (f) is included in the manager's gross income for individual income tax purposes is made on the basis of the provisions of chapter 1 and without regard to the treatment of such amount for purposes of determining whether the manager's compensation is reasonable under chapter 42.

(8) De minimis items. Any property or service that is excluded from income under section 132(a)(4) may be disregarded for purposes of determining whether the recipient's compensation is reasonable under chapter 42.

(9) Examples. The provisions of this paragraph may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1.

M, a private foundation, makes a grant of $50,000 to the governing body of N City for the purpose of alleviating the slum conditions which exist in a particular neighborhood of N. Corporation P, a substantial contributor to M, is located in the same area in which the grant is to be used. Although the general improvement of the area may constitute an incidental and tenuous benefit to P, such benefit by itself will not constitute an act of self-dealing.

Example 2.

Private foundation X established a program to award scholarship grants to the children of employees of corporation M, a substantial contributor to X. After disclosure of the method of carrying out such program, X received a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service stating that X is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3), that contributions to X are deductible under section 170, and that X's scholarship program qualifies under section 4945(g)(1). A scholarship grant to a person not a disqualified person with respect to X paid or incurred by X in accordance with such program shall not be an indirect act of self-dealing between X and M.

Example 3.

Private foundation Y owns voting stock in corporation Z, the management of which includes certain disqualified persons with respect to Y. Prior to Z's annual stockholder meeting, the management solicits and receives the foundation's proxies. The transfer of such proxies in and of itself shall not be an act of self-dealing.

Example 4.

A, a disqualified person with respect to private foundation S, contributes certain real estate to S for the purpose of building a neighborhood recreation center in a particular underprivileged area. As a condition of the gift, S agrees to name the recreation center after A. Since the benefit to A is only incidental and tenuous, the naming of the recreation center, by itself, will not be an act of self-dealing.

(g) Payment to a government official. Except as provided in section 4941(d)(2)(G) or § 53.4941(d)-3(e), the agreement by a private foundation to make any payment of money or other property to a government official, as defined in section 4946(c), shall constitute an act of self-dealing. For purposes of this paragraph, an individual who is otherwise described in section 4946(c) shall be treated as a government official while on leave of absence from the government without pay.

[T.D. 7270, 38 FR 9493, Apr. 17, 1973, as amended by T.D. 7938, 49 FR 3848, Jan. 31, 1984; T.D. 8639, 60 FR 65568, Dec. 20, 1995]