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SOI Tax Stats - Private Foundations Study Terms and Concepts

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This page contains information about selected terms and concepts used in SOI's Private Foundation Study.

Please visit the Domestic Private Foundation and Charitable Trust Statistics page to access the annual study tables, articles, and publicly available microdata.


A - F G - L M - R S - Z

Accounting fees
Accountants' or other fees charged by outside individuals or firms who are not employees of the foundation.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 16b, column (a).

Accounts receivable, net
Total amount of accounts receivable less allowance for doubtful accounts (accounts estimated to be uncollectible) for the sale of goods and/or the performance of services. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 3, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Adjusted net income
Total amount of income from charitable functions, investment activities, set-asides, unrelated business activities, and short-term capital gains that exceeded the cost incurred in earning the income.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, Column (c) (for operating foundations).

Cash--Non-interest bearing accounts
Amount of cash on deposit in checking accounts, deposits in transit, change funds, petty cash funds, or any other non-interest bearing account. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 1, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Charitable-purpose land, buildings, etc.
Total value of land, buildings, and equipment owned and used by the organization to conduct its charitable activities less accumulated depreciation. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 14, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Compensation of officers
Total amount paid to officers, directors, and trustees of the organization.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 13, column (a).

Contributions, gifts, and grants paid
Total amount of contributions, gifts, and grants paid to individuals or charitable organizations during the year as reported on the expense statement portion of the return. The contributions, gifts, and grants paid amount reported in Tables 3 and 4 is calculated using either the cash receipts and disbursements method of accounting or the accrual method of accounting (per books), whereas the contributions, gifts, and grants paid amount reported in Tables 1 and 2 is calculated using the cash receipts and disbursement method of accounting only.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 25, column (a) and column (d).

Contributions, gifts, and grants received
Total amount of gross contributions, gifts, grants, and similar payments received.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 1, column (a).

Corporate bonds
Total amount of investments in corporate debt (including bonds and other fixed income instruments). Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 10c, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Corporate stock
Total amount of investments in corporate equity (including stocks of individual publicly-traded companies, mutual funds, and index funds). Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 10b, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Depreciation and depletion
Total expense allowance attributable to the diminished value of certain qualified assets over time. In the case of physical assets (e.g., machinery or equipment), depreciation reflects wear and tear, deterioration, or obsolescence over the course of the asset's useful life. In the case of nonphysical property (e.g., mineral rights or patents), depletion reflects limits on the right to possession or usage, or technological obsolescence.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 19, column (a).

Disbursements for exempt purposes
Outlays made exclusively in support of a foundation's tax-exempt purpose, including grants paid and operating and administrative expenses.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 26, column (d).

Disqualified person
In general, a substantial contributor; a foundation manager; a person who owns more than 20 percent of a corporation, partnership, trust, or unincorporated enterprise that is itself a substantial contributor; or a family member of a disqualified person. Acts of "self-dealing," which are defined as financial transactions with foundation officers, directors, trustees, substantial contributors, or "other disqualified persons," are taxable under IRC section 4941 and are reported on Form 4720, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code

Distributable amount
The minimum payout amount that is required to be distributed by nonoperating foundations by the end of the tax year that follows the tax year for which the return was filed. For example, foundations were required to distribute their Tax Year 2006 amounts before the end of Tax Year 2007. Failure to distribute income within this period results in a 30-percent excise tax on the undistributed portion. The distributable amount equals 5 percent of the net value of noncharitable-use assets, called the "minimum investment return," minus the excise tax on net investment income, plus or minus other adjustments, either allowed or required (see "Net Adjustments to Distributable Amount").
Source: Form 990-PF, Part XI, line 7.

Dividends and interest from securities
Total income received from securities (stocks and bonds).
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 4, column (a).

Domestic IRC Section 4947(a)(1) Charitable Trusts Treated as Foundations
As described in Internal Revenue Code section 4947(a)(1), an organization (1) that is not considered tax exempt under section 501(a); (2) that has exclusively charitable interests; and (3) that has amounts in trust for which donors are allowed to claim a tax deduction for charitable contributions. Nonexempt charitable trusts that are not publicly supported are subject to the excise tax provisions that apply to private foundations and are required to file Form 990-PF. Nonexempt charitable trusts that are treated as private foundations must pay an annual tax on income (usually from investments) that is not distributed for charitable purposes, and they must report such income and tax on Form 1041, U.S. Fiduciary Income Tax Return.

Excess distributions carryover to next year
Total amount of excess distributions remaining after the new corpus value is reduced by 1:) amounts treated as distributions out of corpus to satisfy requirements for passthrough entities; and, 2.) excess distributions carryover amounts outside the maximum 5-year allowable period.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part XIII, line 9, column (a).

Excess of revenue over expenses
Amount of total revenue less total expenses.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 27a, column (a).

Excess of revenue, total
Amount of total revenue less total expenses, if positive.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 27a, column (a), positive amounts only.

Government obligations
Total amount of investments in notes, bonds, or other certificates issued by the U.S. Government (or State and local governmental agencies), which have a maturity of at least 1 year. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 10a, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Grantmaking Foundations and Charitable Trusts
Organizations with positive amounts of contributions, gifts, and grants paid for a particular tax year.

Grants receivable
Total grants receivable from governmental agencies, foundations, and other organizations. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 5, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Gross profit (or loss) from business activities
Gross profit (or loss) from the organization's business activities. This amount is calculated as gross sales (less returns and allowances) minus the cost of goods sold .
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 10c, column (a).

Gross rents
Gross rental income derived from investment property.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 5a, column (a).

Interest
Total interest expenses related to loans or other debt obligations of the foundation, excluding mortgage interest payments included in line 20.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 17, column (a).

Interest on savings and temporary cash investments
Total income received from interest-bearing accounts (including money market funds, commercial paper, certificates of deposit, and U.S. Treasury bills or other governmental obligations that mature in less than 1 year).
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 3, column (a).

Inventories
Total amount of materials, goods, and supplies purchased or manufactured by the organization and held for sale or use in some future period. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 8, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Land, buildings, and equipment
Total value of land, buildings, and equipment held for investment purposes (such as rentable properties) less accumulated depreciation. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 11, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Legal fees
Attorneys' or other fees charged by outside legal counsel who are not employees of the foundation.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 16a, column (a).

Loss, total
Amount of total revenue less total expenses, if negative.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 27a, column (a), negative amounts only.

Minimum investment return
Generally, this equals 5-percent of the total fair market value of noncharitable-use assets. The net value of noncharitable-use assets can be reduced by the indebtedness incurred to acquire the assets and the cash deemed held for charitable activities. The minimum investment return is used as the base for calculating the "distributable amount."
Source: Form 990-PF, Part X, line 6.

Mortgage loans
Total amount of mortgage loans receivable held as investments, excluding program-related investments. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 12, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Net adjustments to distributable amount
The "distributable amount" is increased by recoveries of amounts previously treated as qualifying distributions. Additionally, certain organizations with governing instruments that require the accumulation of income are instructed to deduct the accumulated income from their distributable amount. These adjustments are allowed only for foundations organized before May 27, 1969, whose governing instrument requires such accumulation because State Courts would not allow the organization to change the governing instrument.
Sources: Form 990 PF, Part XI, line 4 and line 6(recoveries on amounts treated as qualifying distributions and deduction for accumulated income).

Net gain from sales of assets
Net gain (or loss) per books from sales of assets not used in the operation of a business (and reported in line 10 for gross profit or loss).
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 6a, column (a).

Net investment income
This equals gross investment income less allowable deductions. Interest, dividends, capital gain net income, rents, payments with respect to securities loans (as defined in Code section 512(a)(5)), and royalties are included in net investment income. Any investment income derived from unrelated trade or business activities, and therefore subject to the "unrelated business income" tax and reported on Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return, is excluded.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 27b, column (b).

Net worth
Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value and end of year book value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 30, column (a) and column (b).

Net value of noncharitable-use asset
Total amount of assets used for the production of income or for investment purposes, rather than a purpose related directly to the organization's tax-exempt status. Examples include the fair market values of securities and rental property owned by the foundation for investment purposes.

For purposes of calculating the "minimum investment return," valuation methods for noncharitable-use assets reported in this section differ from those used to report the end-of-year fair market values for all assets in Part II, column (c). The average, rather than end of year, fair market values of cash and securities that were not used or held for use for charitable purposes during the tax year is derived and used in this calculation. With certain exceptions, other assets included in this calculation are valued annually, but not necessarily based on the end-of-year value. The fair market values of noncharitable-use assets may reflect reductions due to certain characteristics associated with those assets, such as lack of marketability or blockage. The net value of noncharitable-use assets is reduced by acquisition indebtedness and cash deemed held for charitable purposes; the latter reduction is generally limited to 1.5 percent of noncharitable-use assets less acquisition indebtedness. Thus, the net value of noncharitable-use assets, which is used in the calculation of the "minimum investment return", differed from the balance sheet-derived fair market value of total assets, as reported on Part II, line 16, column (c), which equaled the total end-of-year value for all assets held by the foundation.
Sources: Form 990 PF, Part X, line 5.

Nonoperating Foundations and Charitable Trusts
These are traditional, grantmaking organizations that generally carry on their charitable activities in an indirect manner, by providing financial support to charitable organizations and initiatives. Some nonoperating foundations may have been actively involved in charitable programs of their own, in addition to making grants. For example, a foundation initially organized as operating that was unable to meet the operating foundation requirements for a particular tax year could have continued its direct charitable activities. Such an organization could have directed expenditures made for these direct charitable activities, as well as expenditures made for the disbursement of contributions, gifts, and grants and other indirect charitable activities, toward meeting the required distribution requirement.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part VII-A, line 9 checkbox.

Occupancy
Total amount paid or incurred for the use of office space or other facilities. For leased space, this equals total rent paid. For space owned by the organization, this includes mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and similar expenses. In either case, the cost of utilities, heat, water, trash removal, telephone and similar services are also included.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 20, column (a).

Operating Foundations and Charitable Trusts
These organizations operate similarly to charities, in that they operate their own charitable programs, such as operating a library or museum, or conducting scientific research. Operating foundations are treated as foundations, rather than charities, because of their narrow source of financial support. They are exempted from the income distribution requirement and related excise taxes that are applicable to their nonoperating counterparts.

Specifically, to qualify, an organization must spend 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. Additionally, the organization must meet both an "income test" and one of three other tests: an "assets test," an "endowment test," or a "support test" (discussed in Part XIV). A foundation could qualify as operating under the income requirement if it spent at least 85 percent of the lesser of its "minimum investment return" or "adjusted net income" on the direct, active conduct of tax-exempt, charitable activities (as opposed to the payout of grants in support of such programs).

To meet the assets test, a foundation had to directly use 65 percent or more of its assets for the active conduct of charitable activities. To meet the endowment test, a foundation had to regularly make distributions for the active conduct of charitable activities in an amount not less than two thirds of its "minimum investment return." To meet the support test, a foundation had to regularly receive substantially all of its support (other than from gross investment income) from the public or from five or more qualifying exempt organizations, and (a) no more than 25 percent of its support (other than from gross investment income) from any one such qualifying exempt organization; and (b) no more than 50 percent of its support from gross investment income.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part VII-A, line 9 checkbox.

Other assets
Total value of all other assets not separately reported on Part II, lines 1 through 14. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 15, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Other expenses
Total value of all other expenses not separately reported on Part I, lines 13 through 22.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 23, column (a).

Other income
Total value of all other income not separately reported on Part I, lines 1 through 10.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 11, column (a).

Other investments
Total value of all other investment holdings not separately reported on Part II, lines 10 through 12. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 13, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Other notes and loans receivable
Total amount of notes receivable (not for investment purposes) and loans receivable (less allowance for doubtful accounts). Excludes loans to officers, directors, foundation managers, or other disqualified persons (line 6), and loans to other employees (which are reported on line 15.) Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 7, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Other professional fees
Professional fees (i.e., for fundraising or investment services) charged by outside individuals or firms who are not employees of the foundation.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 16c, column (a).

Other salaries and wages
Total amount paid to employees of the organization, excluding amounts paid to officers, directors, and trustees and included in Part I, line 13.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 14, column (a).

Payout rate
The amount of (adjusted) qualifying distributions divided by the amount of net noncharitable-use assets. The numerator is adjusted to account for deductions and additions made in the distributable amount calculation. (See "Net adjustments to distributable amount.")

Pension plans and employee benefits
Total amount of the foundations' share of contributions paid to qualified and nonqualified pension plans and other employee benefit programs that are not part of a pension plan (e.g., insurance, health, and welfare programs). Also included are payroll taxes imposed on the organization as an employer, including the employer's share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, FUTA tax, state unemployment compensation tax, and other state and local payroll taxes.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 15, column (a).

Pledges receivable, net
Total amount of pledges receivable, less allowance for doubtful accounts (pledges estimated to be uncollectible). Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 4, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Prepaid expenses and deferred charges
Total amount of prepayments for expense(s) attributable to one or more future accounting periods. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 9, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Printing and publications
Total costs incurred for printing, publishing, and distributing newsletters; as well as subscriptions to, or purchases of, magazines, newspapers, etc.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 22, column (a).

Qualifying distributions
Qualifying distributions include disbursements for charitable purposes (grants, direct expenditures to accomplish charitable purposes, and charitable purpose operating and administrative expenses); amounts paid to acquire assets used directly to accomplish tax exempt functions; charitable program related investments; and amounts set aside for future charitable projects. Qualifying distributions may be credited against a foundation's obligation to pay out its "distributable amount."
Source: Form 990-PF, Part XII, line 4.

Receivables due from disqualified persons
Total amount due from officers, directors, trustees, foundation managers, and other disqualified persons, and all secured and unsecured loans (including advances) to such persons. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 6, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Savings and temporary cash investments
Amount of cash in any interest-bearing accounts (including money market funds, commercial paper, certificates of deposit, and U.S. Treasury bills or other governmental obligations that mature in less than 1 year. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 2, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Securities, total
Total amount of investments in Government obligations, corporate stock, and corporate bonds, as reported on the foundation's balance sheet. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, sum of lines 10a, 10b, and 10c, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Taxes
Total amount of taxes paid or accrued during the year. Excludes payroll taxes included on line 15.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 18, column (a).

Total assets
Sum of all assets reported on the foundation's balance sheet. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 16, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Total expenses
Sum of all expenses reported on the foundation's analysis of revenue and expenses.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 26, column (a).

Total investment assets
Total amount of securities, land, buildings, equipment, mortgage loans, and other investments. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value, end of year book value, and end of year fair market value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, sum of lines 10a through 13, column (a), column (b), and column (c).

Total liabilities
Total amount of accounts payable and accrued expenses; grants payable; deferred revenue; loans from officers, directors, trustees, and other disqualified person; mortgages and other notes payable; and other liabilities not separately reported on lines 17 through 21. Amounts are reported on the foundation's balance sheet for beginning of year book value and end of year book value.
Sources: Form 990-PF, Part II, line 16, column (a) and column (b).

Total operating and administrative expenses
Total amount of compensation of officers; other salaries and wages; pension plans and employee benefits; legal fees; accounting fees; other professional fees; interest; taxes; depreciation and depletion; occupancy; travel, conferences, and meetings; printing and publications; and other expenses.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, sum of lines 13 through 23.

Total revenue
Sum of revenue per books. Amount includes gross contributions, gifts, and grants received; interest on savings and temporary cash investments; dividends and interest from securities; net gain (or loss) from sales of assets (mostly investment assets, but also charitable use assets); gross rents and royalties; gross profit (or loss) from business activities; and other income (such as royalty income, program-related investment income, interest earned on assets used for charitable purposes, and imputed interest on distributions deferred interest).
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 12, column (a).

Travel, conferences, and meetings
Total amount incurred for conference travel and meeting attendance. Includes transportation, meals and lodging, and related costs.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part I, line 21, column (a).

Undistributed income for current year
The portion of the required "distributable amount" remaining after current year qualifying distributions and prior years' carryover of excess distributions are subtracted. Under IRC section 4942, nonoperating private foundations have until the end of the following tax year to distribute this amount, or else they are subject to an excise tax. The initial tax, which is automatically imposed, equals 30-percent of the undistributed amount and is reported on Form 4720, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Source: Form 990-PF, Part XIII, line 6f, column (d).

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 04-Mar-2014