Even if an organization falls within one of the categories excluded from the definition of private foundation, it will be presumed to be a private foundation unless it gives timely notice to the Internal Revenue Service with sufficient information to establish that it is not a private foundation. An organization gives the required notice by filing Form 1023 and indicating in Part VII the type of public charity status requested.

Certain organizations, including churches, public charities with annual gross receipts that are normally $5,000 or less, and nonexempt charitable trusts described in section 4947(a)(1) are excepted from this requirement.

The notification requirement applies to an organization regardless of when it was organized. Once an organization becomes a private foundation, it continues to be treated as a private foundation, even if it is later determined not to be exempt or it is exempt under a provision other than section 501(c)(3). Thus, section 501(c)(3) organizations cannot avoid private foundation classification by claiming exemption under other provisions.

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