ndation, n.d.) Public charities are made up of churches, hospitals and qualified medical research organizations affiliated with hospitals, schools, colleges and universities. Similar among all these institutions are: a) they receive contributions from many sources and have active program(s) for fundraising; b) their income is generated by activities that enhance and promote their purposes; and, c) they actively work in relationship with another public charity.
To be a public charity, organizations mentioned above should submit documents that “must contain purposes and powers of an organization and disposition of its assets under dissolution, in order to qualify for exemption under Internal Revenue Code section 501 (c)(3).” (Sample Organizing Documents – Public Charity, 2009) In short, they must comply with the language the IRS requires. These documents may be, but are not limited to, the trust instrument, corporate charter, articles of incorporation, articles of association, or other written instrument by which the organization is created under state law. It should be remembered that these requirements may vary among states and/or countries as well. Public charities must ensure that the purpose and assets stated in these documents are dedicated to charitable purposes.
To be exempt under IRS section 501(c)(3) of the Code, initially, a public charity must file IRS Form 1023.This and other forms can be acquired online or from a cd, both available on the IRS website (www.irs.gov), by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) or visiting local IRS offices. There are certain organizations that are already considered tax exempt even without the filing of Form 1023. These are a) churches, b) their integrated auxiliaries or associations of churches and c) any organization with a gross income of not more than $5,000 in a taxable year.
Applicants must ensure that their organizing documents comply with the IRS requirements. The IRS will not process incomplete