IRS Tax Forms  
Instructions for Form 990-PF 2001 Tax Year

Return of Private Foundation or Section 4947(a)(1)
Nonexempt Charitable Trust Treated as a Private Foundation

Changes To Note

  • Schedule B, Schedule of Contributors, has been revised for 2001. Instead of attaching a list of certain contributors to Form 990-PF, the foundation must now complete Schedule B and attach it to Form 990-PF. If the foundation did not have any contributors during the year or did not have any contributors required to be reported on Schedule B, the box (new for 2001) on line 1, Part I of Form 990-PF must be checked. See page 12 of the instructions for more information.
  • If the foundation has a web site, it must now report its web site address on line 11 of Part VII-A.

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General Instructions

Purpose of form. Form 990-PF is used:

  • To figure the tax based on investment income, and
  • To report charitable distributions and activities.

Also, Form 990-PF serves as a substitute for the section 4947(a)(1) nonexempt charitable trust's income tax return, Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts, when the trust has no taxable income.

A. Who Must File

Form 990-PF is an annual information return that must be filed by:

  • Exempt private foundations (section 6033(a), (b), and (c)).
  • Taxable private foundations (section 6033(d)).
  • Organizations that agree to private foundation status and whose applications for exempt status are pending on the due date for filing Form 990-PF.
  • Organizations that made an election under section 41(e)(6).
  • Organizations that are making a section 507 termination.
  • Section 4947(a)(1) nonexempt charitable trusts that are treated as private foundations (section 6033(d)).

Note: Include on the foundation's return the financial and other information of any disregarded entity owned by the foundation. See Regulations sections 301.7701-1 through 3 for information on the classification of certain business organizations including an eligible entity that is disregarded as an entity separate from its owner (disregarded entity).

Other section 4947(a)(1) nonexempt charitable trusts. Section 4947(a)(1) nonexempt charitable trusts that are not treated as private foundations do not file Form 990-PF. However, they may need to file Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, or Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. With either of these forms, the trust must also file Schedule A (Form 990), Organization Exempt Under Section 501(c)(3) (Except Private Foundation), and Section 501(e), 501(f), 501(k), 501(n), or Section 4947(a)(1) Nonexempt Charitable Trust Supplementary Information. (See Form 990 and Form 990-EZ instructions.)

B. Which Parts To Complete

The parts of the form listed below do not apply to all filers. See How to avoid filing an incomplete return on this page for information on what to do if a part or an item does apply.

  • Part I, column (c), applies only to private operating foundations and to nonoperating private foundations that have income from charitable activities.
  • Part II, column (c), with the exception of line 16, applies only to organizations having at least $5,000 in assets per books at some time during the year. Line 16, column (c), applies to all filers.
  • Part IV does not apply to foreign organizations.
  • Parts V and VI do not apply to organizations making an election under section 41(e).
  • Part X does not apply to foreign foundations that check box D2 on page 1 of Form 990-PF unless they claim status as a private operating foundation.
  • Parts XI and XIII do not apply to foreign foundations that check box D2 on page 1 of Form 990-PF. However, check the box at the top of Part XI. Part XI does not apply to private operating foundations. Also, if the organization is a private operating foundation for any of the years shown in Part XIII, do not complete the portions that apply to those years.
  • Part XIV applies only to private operating foundations.
  • Part XV applies only to organizations having assets of $5,000 or more during the year. This part does not apply to certain foreign organizations.

How to avoid filing an incomplete return.

  • Complete all applicable line items,
  • Answer Yes, No, or N/A (not applicable) to each question on the return,
  • Make an entry (including a zero when appropriate) on all total lines, and
  • Enter None or N/A if an entire part does not apply.

Sequencing Chart To Complete the Form

You may find the following chart helpful. It limits jumping from one part of the form to another to compute an amount needed to complete an earlier part. If you complete the parts in the listed order, any information you may need from another part will already be entered.

Step Part Step Part
1 IV 8 XII, lines 1-4
2 I & II 9 V & VI
3 Heading 10 XII, lines 5-6
4 III 11 XI
7 IX-A - X 14 XIV - XVII

C. Definitions

  • A private foundation is a domestic or foreign organization exempt from income tax under section 501(a); described in section 501(c)(3); and is other than an organization described in sections 509(a)(1) through (4).

    In general, churches, hospitals, schools, and broadly publicly supported organizations are excluded from private foundation status by these sections. These organizations may be required to file Form 990 (or Form 990-EZ) instead of Form 990-PF.

  • A nonexempt charitable trust treated as a private foundation is a trust that is not exempt from tax under section 501(a) and all of the unexpired interests of which are devoted to religious, charitable, or other purposes described in section 170(c)(2)(B), and for which a deduction was allowed under a section of the Code listed in section 4947(a)(1).
  • A taxable private foundation is an organization that is no longer exempt under section 501(a) as an organization described in section 501(c)(3). Though it may operate as a taxable entity, it will continue to be treated as a private foundation until that status is terminated under section 507.
  • A private operating foundation is an organization that is described under section 4942(j)(3) or (5). It means any private foundation that spends at least 85% of the smaller of its adjusted net income (figured in Part I) or its minimum investment return (figured in Part X) directly for the active conduct of the exempt purpose or functions for which the foundation is organized and operated and that also meets the assets test, the endowment test, or the support test (discussed in Part XIV).
  • A nonoperating private foundation is a private foundation that is not a private operating foundation.
  • A foundation manager is an officer, director, or trustee of a foundation, or an individual who has powers similar to those of officers, directors, or trustees. In the case of any act or failure to act, the term foundation manager may also include employees of the foundation who have the authority to act.
  • A disqualified person is:
    1. A substantial contributor (see instructions for Part VII-A, line 10, on page 19);
    2. A foundation manager;
    3. A person who owns more than 20% of a corporation, partnership, trust, or unincorporated enterprise that is itself a substantial contributor;
    4. A family member of an individual described in 1, 2, or 3 above; or
    5. A corporation, partnership, trust, or estate in which persons described in 1, 2, 3, or 4 above own a total beneficial interest of more than 35%.
    6. For purposes of section 4941 (self-dealing), a disqualified person also includes certain government officials. (See section 4946(c) and the related regulations.)
    7. For purposes of section 4943 (excess business holdings), a disqualified person also includes:
      1. A private foundation that is effectively controlled (directly or indirectly) by the same persons who control the private foundation in question or
      2. A private foundation to which substantially all of the contributions were made (directly or indirectly) by one or more of the persons described in 1, 2, and 3 above, or members of their families, within the meaning of section 4946(d).
  • An organization is controlled by a foundation or by one or more disqualified persons with respect to the foundation if any of these persons may, by combining their votes or positions of authority, require the organization to make an expenditure or prevent the organization from making an expenditure, regardless of the method of control. Control is determined regardless of how the foundation requires the contribution to be used.

D. Other Forms You May Need To File

Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement.

Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements.

Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return. Used to report social security, Medicare, and income taxes withheld by an employer and social security and Medicare taxes paid by an employer.

If income, social security, and Medicare taxes that must be withheld are not withheld or are not paid to the IRS, a Trust Fund Recovery Penalty may apply. The penalty is 100% of such unpaid taxes.

This penalty may be imposed on all persons (including volunteers, see below) whom the IRS determines to be responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over these taxes, and who willfully did not do so.

This penalty does not apply to any volunteer, unpaid member of any board of trustees or directors of a tax-exempt organization, if this member:

  1. Is solely serving in an honorary capacity,
  2. Does not participate in the day-to-day or financial activities of the organization, and
  3. Does not have actual knowledge of the failure to collect, account for, and pay over these taxes.

However, this exception does not apply if it results in no person being liable for the penalty.

Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return. Every organization exempt from income tax under section 501(a) that has total gross income of $1,000 or more from all trades or businesses that are unrelated to the organization's exempt purpose must file a return on Form 990-T. The form is also used by tax-exempt organizations to report other additional taxes including the additional tax figured in Part IV of Form 8621, Return by a Shareholder of a Passive Foreign Investment Company or Qualified Electing Fund.

Form 990-W, Estimated Tax on Unrelated Business Taxable Income for Tax-Exempt Organizations (and on Investment Income for Private Foundations).

Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts. Required of section 4947(a)(1) nonexempt charitable trusts that also file Form 990-PF. However, if the trust does not have any taxable income under the income tax provisions (subtitle A of the Code), it may use the filing of Form 990-PF to satisfy its Form 1041 filing requirement under section 6012. If this condition is met, check the box for question 13, Part VII-A, of Form 990-PF and do not file Form 1041.

Form 1041-ES, Estimated Income Tax for Estates and Trusts.

Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns.

Forms 1099-INT, MISC, OID, and R, Information returns for reporting certain interest; miscellaneous income (e.g., payments to providers of health and medical services, miscellaneous income payments, and nonemployee compensation); original issue discount; and distributions from retirement or profit-sharing plans, IRAs, SEPs or SIMPLEs, and insurance contracts.

Form 1120, U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return. Filed by nonexempt taxable private foundations that have taxable income under the income tax provisions (subtitle A of the Code). The Form 990-PF annual information return is also filed by these taxable foundations.

Form 1120-POL, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations. Section 501(c) organizations must file Form 1120-POL if they are treated as having political organization taxable income under section 527(f)(1).

Form 1128, Application To Adopt, Change, or Retain a Tax Year.

Form 2220, Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Corporations, is used by corporations and trusts filing Form 990-PF to see if the foundation owes a penalty and to figure the amount of the penalty. Generally, the foundation is not required to file this form because the IRS can figure the amount of any penalty and bill the foundation for it. However, complete and attach Form 2220 even if the foundation does not owe the penalty if:

  • The annualized income or the adjusted seasonal installment method is used, or
  • The foundation is a large organization, (see General Instruction O) computing its first required installment based on the prior year's tax.

If Form 2220 is attached, check the box on line 8, Part VI, on page 4 of Form 990-PF and enter the amount of any penalty on this line.

Form 4506-A, Request for Public Inspection or Copy of Exempt or Political Organization IRS Form.

Form 4720, Return of Certain Excise Taxes on Charities and Other Persons Under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code, is primarily used to determine the excise taxes imposed on: acts of self-dealing between private foundations and disqualified persons; failure to distribute income; excess business holdings; investments that jeopardize the foundation's charitable purposes; and making political or other noncharitable expenditures. Certain excise taxes and penalties also apply to foundation managers, substantial contributors, and certain related persons and are reported on this form.

Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan is used to report information concerning employee benefit plans, Direct Filing Entities and fringe benefit plans.

Form 8109, Federal Tax Deposit Coupon.

Form 8282, Donee Information Return. Required of the donee of charitable deduction property that sells, exchanges, or otherwise disposes of the property within 2 years after the date it received the property.

Also required of any successor donee that disposes of charitable deduction property within 2 years after the date that the donor gave the property to the original donee. (It does not matter who gave the property to the successor donee. It may have been the original donee or another successor donee.) For successor donees, the form must be filed only for any property that was transferred by the original donee after July 5, 1988.

Form 8275, Disclosure Statement. Taxpayers and tax return preparers should attach this form to Form 990-PF to disclose items or positions (except those contrary to a regulation - see Form 8275-R below) that are not otherwise adequately disclosed on the tax return. The disclosure is made to avoid parts of the accuracy-related penalty imposed for disregard of rules or substantial understatement of tax. Form 8275 is also used for disclosures relating to preparer penalties for understatements due to unrealistic positions or for willful or reckless conduct.

Form 8275-R, Regulation Disclosure Statement. Use this form to disclose any item on a tax return for which a position has been taken that is contrary to Treasury regulations.

Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business. Used to report cash amounts in excess of $10,000 that were received in a single transaction (or in two or more related transactions) in the course of a trade or business (as defined in
section 162).

Form 8718, User Fee for Exempt Organization Determination Letter Request. Used by a private foundation that has completed a section 507 termination and seeks a determination letter that it is now a public charity.

Form 8822, Change of Address.

Form 8868, Application for Extension of Time To File an Exempt Organization Return.

Form 8870, Information Return for Transfers Associated With Certain Personal Benefit Contracts. Used to identify those personal benefit contracts for which funds were transferred to the organization, directly or indirectly, as well as the transferors and beneficiaries of those contracts.

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