Associates: Avoid Certain Activities to Preserve Tax-Exempt Status

Nonprofit trade associations, or 501(c)(6) organizations, exist to promote their members’ common interests and improve business conditions. But your association doesn’t qualify for tax-exempt status if it exists only to perform services for individual members. To avoid IRS scrutiny, limit activities such as selling advertising in member publications, facilitating the purchase of supplies or providing workers’ compensation insurance to members. And note that, even when certain activities don’t threaten your exempt status, they might trigger unrelated business income tax.

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