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Private Foundation Taxable Expenditures: "Taxable Expenditures" Defined

A taxable expenditure is an amount paid or incurred to:

  1. Carry on propaganda or otherwise attempt to influence legislation (commonly referred to as lobbying),
  2. Influence the outcome of any specific public election or carry on any voter registration drive, unless certain requirements (explained in Influencing elections and carrying on voter registration drives) are satisfied),
  3. Make a grant to an individual for travel, study, or other similar purposes, unless certain requirements (explained under Grants to individuals) are satisfied,
  4. Make a grant to an organization (other than an organization described in section 509(a)(1), (2), or (3) or an exempt operating foundation) unless the foundation exercises expenditure responsibility with respect to the grant, or
  5. Carry out any purpose other than a religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purpose, the fostering of national or international amateur sports competition (with exceptions) or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.

See Exceptions to taxable expenditures for examples of transactions ordinarily not treated as taxable expenditures.

Additional information:

Grants to noncharitable organizations


Return to Life Cycle of a Private Foundation

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 29-Apr-2014