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Taxact2011 Publication 557 - Introductory Material Table of Contents What's New Reminders Introduction What's New Proposed regulations on “good faith determinations”. Taxact2011  Proposed regulations modify standards for making a good faith determination that a foreign organization is a charitable organization, grants to which may be qualifying distributions and not taxable expenditures. Taxact2011 The proposed regulations identify a broader class of tax practitioners upon whose written advice a private foundation may base a “good faith determination. Taxact2011 ” See, Proposed Regulations: Reliance Standards for Making Good Faith Determinations, REG-134974-12, 2012-47 I. Taxact2011 R. Taxact2011 B. Taxact2011 553. Taxact2011 Prop. Taxact2011 Regs. Taxact2011 on Good Faith Determinations. Taxact2011 New Requirements for section 501(c)(3) Hospitals Under the Affordable Care Act. Taxact2011  The Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted March 23, 2010, added new requirements that hospital organizations must satisfy in order to be described in section 501(c)(3), as well as new reporting requirements and excise taxes. Taxact2011 On June 22, 2012, the Service issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that addresses the new requirements enacted by the ACA applicable to section 501(c)(3) hospital organizations. Taxact2011 See, Proposed Regulations: Additional Requirements for Charitable Hospitals, REG-13026-11, 77 Fed. Taxact2011 Reg. Taxact2011 38148. Taxact2011 On April 3, 2013, the Service issued proposed regulations on the ACA's community health needs assessment (CHNA) requirements. Taxact2011 The proposed regulations also discuss the related reporting and excise tax requirements for charitable hospitals and the consequences for failure to satisfy the section 501(r) requirements. Taxact2011 See, Proposed Regulations: Community Health Needs Assessments for Charitable Hospitals, REG-106499-12, 78 Fed. Taxact2011 Reg. Taxact2011 20,523. Taxact2011 Timing of when an Organization is exempt for Federal Tax Purposes. Taxact2011  As noted in section 2. Taxact2011 03(4) of Revenue Procedure 2013-9, 2013-2 I. Taxact2011 R. Taxact2011 B. Taxact2011 267, the provisions in section 11. Taxact2011 01 regarding the effect of determination letters or rulings recognizing exempt status of organizations described in section 501(c), other than sections 501(c)(3), (9), (17), and (29), have been revised. Taxact2011 Prior to this year, and back to 1962, when such organizations applied for recognition, the IRS would usually recognize the organizations as tax exempt from the date of formation, no matter how long the interval between the date of formation and the date of application. Taxact2011 In addition to the practical difficulties of ascertaining an organization's purposes and activities for this period, such recognition is now potentially inconsistent with the provisions of section 6033(j), which automatically revokes the exempt status of an organization that fails to file required Form 990 series returns or notices for three consecutive years. Taxact2011 The new procedure adopts a practice similar to the rule for section 501(c)(3) organizations for these organizations, generally permitting recognition from the date of formation if the organization has: always met the requirements for exemption, has applied within 27 months from the end of the month in which it was organized, and has not failed to file required Form 990 series returns or notices for three consecutive years. Taxact2011 Section 11. Taxact2011 01(3) notes: an organization that otherwise meets the requirements for tax-exempt status and the issuance of a determination letter or ruling that does not meet the requirements for recognition from date of formation will generally be recognized from the postmark date of its application. Taxact2011 Exempt Organizations Select Check. Taxact2011  The IRS has developed an on-line search tool, Exempt Organizations Select Check, that allows users to select an exempt organization and check certain information about its federal tax status and filings. Taxact2011 It consolidates three former search sites into one, providing expanded search capability and a more efficient way to search for organizations that: Are eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions (Publication 78 data). Taxact2011 Users may rely on this list in determining deductibility of contributions, just as they did when Publication 78 was a separate electronic publication rather than part of Select Check. Taxact2011 Have had their tax-exempt status automatically revoked under the law because they have not filed Form 990 series returns or notices annually as required for three consecutive years (Auto-Revocation List). Taxact2011 Have filed a Form 990-N (e-Postcard) annual electronic notice. Taxact2011  In addition to searching for a particular organization, users may download a complete list of each of the three types of organizations through Exempt Organizations Select Check. Taxact2011 See also Revenue Procedure 2011-33, 2011-25 I. Taxact2011 R. Taxact2011 B. Taxact2011 887. Taxact2011 Future developments. Taxact2011 . Taxact2011  The IRS has created a page on IRS. Taxact2011 gov for information about Publication 557, at www. Taxact2011 irs. Taxact2011 gov/pub557. Taxact2011 Information about any future developments affecting Publication 557 (such as legislation enacted after we release it) will be posted on that page. Taxact2011 Reminders The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Taxact2011   The ACA added several new laws. Taxact2011 This includes a new excise tax on indoor tanning services, a small business health care tax credit, additional requirements for tax-exempt hospitals, and the section 501(c)(29) CO-OP program. Taxact2011 For more information, go to IRS. Taxact2011 gov and select Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions. Taxact2011 Electronic filing requirement for large organizations. Taxact2011  For tax years ending on or after December 31, 2006, only organizations that file 250 returns during the calendar year and that have total assets of $10 million or more are required to file Form 990 electronically. Taxact2011 For more information, go to e-file for Charities and Non-Profits. Taxact2011 Section 501(c)(15) gross receipts. Taxact2011   The definition of gross receipts for purposes of determining whether small insurance companies qualify as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(15) has changed. Taxact2011 See Notice 2006-42, 2006-19 I. Taxact2011 R. Taxact2011 B. Taxact2011 878, Notice 2006-42. Taxact2011 Prohibited tax shelter transactions. Taxact2011  New excise taxes are imposed under section 4965 on certain tax-exempt organizations entering into prohibited tax shelter transactions. Taxact2011 See T. Taxact2011 D. Taxact2011 9492, Excise Taxes on Prohibited Tax Shelter Transactions and Related Disclosure Requirements, 2010-33 I. Taxact2011 R. Taxact2011 B. Taxact2011 242. Taxact2011 See IRS Issues Final Regulations Regarding Excise Taxes on Prohibited Tax Shelter Transactions and Related Disclosure Requirement. Taxact2011 Pension Protection Act of 2006 tax changes. Taxact2011  The Pension Protection Act of 2006 made numerous changes to the tax law provisions affecting tax-exempt organizations. Taxact2011 Unless otherwise noted, most of the changes became effective on August 17, 2006. Taxact2011 For key provisions, go to The Pension Protection Act of 2006. Taxact2011 Section 501(c)(3) organizations must make their Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Tax Return (and proxy tax under section 6033(e)), open for public inspection for a period of 3 years from the date the Form 990-T is required to be filed (determined with regard to any extension of time for filing) or is actually filed, whichever is later. Taxact2011 There is an increase in excise taxes relating to public charities, social welfare organizations, and private foundations. Taxact2011 There are additional standards for credit counseling organizations. Taxact2011 The definition of convention or association of churches has been modified. Taxact2011 Entities that are not required to file Form 990 or 990-EZ must file new Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or 990-EZ. Taxact2011 The requirements of disclosure to state officials relating to exempt organizations has been modified. Taxact2011 There are excise taxes imposed on excess benefit transactions involving donor advised funds and sponsoring organizations. Taxact2011 There are new excise taxes on prohibited tax shelter transactions. Taxact2011 There is a modification of recordkeeping requirements for certain charitable contributions. Taxact2011 Introduction This publication discusses the rules and procedures for organizations that seek recognition of exemption from federal income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). Taxact2011 It explains the procedures you must follow to obtain an appropriate ruling or determination letter recognizing your organization's exemption, as well as certain other information that applies generally to all exempt organizations. Taxact2011 To qualify for exemption under the Code, your organization must be organized for one or more of the purposes specifically designated in the Code. Taxact2011 Organizations that are exempt under section 501(a) include those organizations described in section 501(c). Taxact2011 Section 501(c) organizations are covered in this publication. Taxact2011 Chapter 1, Application, Approval, and Appeal Procedures, provides general information about the procedures for obtaining recognition of tax-exempt status. Taxact2011 Chapter 2, Filing Requirements and Required Disclosures, contains information about annual filing requirements and other matters that may affect your organization's tax-exempt status. Taxact2011 Chapter 3, Section 501(c)(3) Organizations, contains detailed information on various matters affecting section 501(c)(3) organizations, including a section on the determination of private foundation status. Taxact2011 Chapter 4, Other Section 501(c) Organizations, includes separate sections for specific types of organizations described in section 501(c). Taxact2011 Chapter 5, Excise Taxes, provides information on when excise taxes may be imposed. Taxact2011 Organizations not discussed in this publication. Taxact2011   Certain organizations that may qualify for exemption are not discussed in this publication, although they are included in the Organization Reference Chart. Taxact2011 These organizations (and the Code sections that apply to them) are as follows. Taxact2011 Corporations organized under Acts of Congress 501(c)(1) Teachers' retirement fund associations 501(c)(11) Mutual insurance companies 501(c)(15) Corporations organized to finance crop operations 501(c)(16) Employee funded pension trusts (created before June 25, 1959) 501(c)(18) Withdrawal liability payment fund 501(c)(22) Veterans' organizations (created before 1880) 501(c)(23) National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust 501(c)(28) Religious and apostolic associations 501(d) Cooperative hospital service organizations 501(e) Cooperative service organizations of operating educational organizations 501(f)   Section 501(c)(24) organizations (section 4049 ERISA trusts) are neither discussed in the text nor listed in the Organization Reference Chart. Taxact2011   Similarly, farmers' cooperative associations that qualify for exemption under section 521, qualified state tuition programs described in section 529, and pension, profit-sharing, and stock bonus plans described in section 401(a) are not discussed in this publication. Taxact2011 If you think your organization falls within one of these categories, contact the IRS for any additional information you need. Taxact2011 For telephone assistance, call 1-877-829-5500. Taxact2011   Check the Table of Contents at the beginning of this publication to determine whether your organization is described in this publication. Taxact2011 If it is, read the chapter (or section) that applies to your type of organization for the specific information you must give when applying for recognition of exemption. Taxact2011 Organization Reference Chart. Taxact2011   The Organization Reference Chart enables you to locate at a glance the section of the Code under which your organization might qualify for exemption. Taxact2011 It also shows the required application form and, if your organization meets the exemption requirements, the annual return to be filed (if any), and whether or not a contribution to your organization will be deductible by a donor. Taxact2011 It also describes each type of qualifying organization and the general nature of its activities. Taxact2011   You may use the Organization Reference Chart to determine the Code section that you think applies to your organization. Taxact2011 Any correspondence with the IRS (in requesting forms or otherwise) will be expedited if you indicate in your correspondence the appropriate Code section. Taxact2011 Check the IRS website, IRS. Taxact2011 gov, for the latest updates, Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-Profits, www. Taxact2011 irs. Taxact2011 gov/charities/index. Taxact2011 html. Taxact2011 Comments and suggestions. Taxact2011   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Taxact2011   You can e-mail us while visiting our website at IRS. Taxact2011 gov. Taxact2011   You can send your comments to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. Taxact2011 NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. Taxact2011 Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. Taxact2011   If you wish telephone assistance, please call 1-877-829-5500. Taxact2011 This toll-free telephone service is available Monday through Friday. Taxact2011 Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Treasury, IRS Will Issue Proposed Guidance for Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Organizations

Initial Proposed Guidance Clarifies Qualification Requirements and Seeks Public Input

IR-2013-92, Nov. 26, 2013

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service today will issue initial guidance regarding qualification requirements for tax-exemption as a social welfare organization under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. This proposed guidance defines the term “candidate-related political activity,” and would amend current regulations by indicating that the promotion of social welfare does not include this type of activity. The proposed guidance also seeks initial comments on other aspects of the qualification requirements, including what proportion of a 501(c)(4) organization’s activities must promote social welfare.

The proposed guidance is expected to be posted on the Federal Register later today.

There are a number of steps in the regulatory process that must be taken before any final guidance can be issued. Given the significant public interest in these and related issues, Treasury and the IRS expect to receive a large number of comments. Treasury and the IRS are committed to carefully and comprehensively considering all of the comments received before issuing additional proposed guidance or final rules.

“This is part of ongoing efforts within the IRS that are improving our work in the tax-exempt area,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “Once final, this proposed guidance will continue moving us forward and provide clarity for this important segment of exempt organizations.”

“This proposed guidance is a first critical step toward creating clear-cut definitions of political activity by tax-exempt social welfare organizations,” said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark J. Mazur. “We are committed to getting this right before issuing final guidance that may affect a broad group of organizations. It will take time to work through the regulatory process and carefully consider all public feedback as we strive to ensure that the standards for tax-exemption are clear and can be applied consistently.”

Organizations may apply for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code if they operate to promote social welfare. The IRS currently applies a “facts and circumstances” test to determine whether an organization is engaged in political campaign activities that do not promote social welfare. Today’s proposed guidance would reduce the need to conduct fact-intensive inquiries by replacing this test with more definitive rules.

In defining the new term, “candidate-related political activity,” Treasury and the IRS drew upon existing definitions of political activity under federal and state campaign finance laws, other IRS provisions, as well as suggestions made in unsolicited public comments.

Under the proposed guidelines, candidate-related political activity includes:

1. Communications

  • Communications that expressly advocate for a clearly identified political candidate or candidates of a political party.
  • Communications that are made within 60 days of a general election (or within 30 days of a primary election) and clearly identify a candidate or political party.
  • Communications expenditures that must be reported to the Federal Election Commission.

2. Grants and Contributions

  • Any contribution that is recognized under campaign finance law as a reportable contribution.
  • Grants to section 527 political organizations and other tax-exempt organizations that conduct candidate-related political activities (note that a grantor can rely on a written certification from a grantee stating that it does not engage in, and will not use grant funds for, candidate-related political activity).

3.  Activities Closely Related to Elections or Candidates

  • Voter registration drives and “get-out-the-vote” drives.
  • Distribution of any material prepared by or on behalf of a candidate or by a section 527 political organization.
  • Preparation or distribution of voter guides that refer to candidates (or, in a general election, to political parties).
  • Holding an event within 60 days of a general election (or within 30 days of a primary election) at which a candidate appears as part of the program.

These proposed rules reduce the need to conduct fact-intensive inquiries, including inquiries into whether activities or communications are neutral and unbiased.

Treasury and the IRS are planning to issue additional guidance that will address other issues relating to the standards for tax exemption under section 501(c)(4). In particular, there has been considerable public focus regarding the proportion of a section 501(c)(4) organization’s activities that must promote social welfare. Due to the importance of this aspect of the regulation, the proposed guidance requests initial comments on this issue.

The proposed guidance also seeks comments regarding whether standards similar to those proposed today should be adopted to define the political activities that do not further the tax-exempt purposes of other tax-exempt organizations and to promote consistent definitions across the tax-exempt sector.

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The Taxact2011

Taxact2011 Publication 537 - Introductory Material Table of Contents Future Developments Reminder IntroductionOrdering forms and publications. Taxact2011 Tax questions. Taxact2011 Useful Items - You may want to see: Future Developments For the latest information about developments related to Publication 537, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www. Taxact2011 irs. Taxact2011 gov/pub537. Taxact2011 Reminder Photographs of missing children. Taxact2011  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Taxact2011 Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. Taxact2011 You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. Taxact2011 Introduction Note. Taxact2011 Section references within this publication are to the Internal Revenue Code and regulation references are to the Income Tax Regulations under the Code. Taxact2011 An installment sale is a sale of property where you receive at least one payment after the tax year of the sale. Taxact2011 If you realize a gain on an installment sale, you may be able to report part of your gain when you receive each payment. Taxact2011 This method of reporting gain is called the installment method. Taxact2011 You cannot use the installment method to report a loss. Taxact2011 You can choose to report all of your gain in the year of sale. Taxact2011 This publication discusses the general rules that apply to using the installment method. Taxact2011 It also discusses more complex rules that apply only when certain conditions exist or certain types of property are sold. Taxact2011 If you sell your home or other nonbusiness property under an installment plan, you may need to read only the General Rules . Taxact2011 If you sell business or rental property or have a like-kind exchange or other complex situation, also see the appropriate discussion under Other Rules . Taxact2011 Comments and suggestions. Taxact2011   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Taxact2011   You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. Taxact2011 NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. Taxact2011 Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. Taxact2011   You can send your comments from www. Taxact2011 irs. Taxact2011 gov/formspubs/. Taxact2011 Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications. Taxact2011 ”   Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products. Taxact2011 Ordering forms and publications. Taxact2011   Visit www. Taxact2011 irs. Taxact2011 gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. Taxact2011 Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Taxact2011 Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. Taxact2011   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. Taxact2011 gov or call 1-800-829-1040. Taxact2011 We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. Taxact2011 Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 523 Selling Your Home 541 Partnerships 544 Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets 550 Investment Income and Expenses 551 Basis of Assets 4895 Tax Treatment of Property Acquired From a Decedent Dying in 2010 Form (and Instructions) 4797 Sales of Business Property 6252 Installment Sale Income  See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting publications and forms. Taxact2011 Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications