Monday, September 24, 2007

Related vs. Unrelated Business Expenses

Q: What is the difference between business activities that are taxable and those that are not?

A: While pursuing a cause, a nonprofit organization may accrue some profit. This profit is considered tax-exempt, as it is a result of business related activities that prove beneficial to the given cause. Any profit that may come from business activity not related to the mission of the organization may be subject to taxation. There are exceptions in which unrelated activities will not be taxed, such as tasks performed by volunteers, the sale of donated merchandise, and/or the rental of mailing lists.

However flexible this rule may be, nonprofit organizations are often cautioned to lessen their unrelated business activities, as not to provoke inquiries from the IRS about tax-exempt status. It is also suggested that you seek legal advice before pursuing business activities as means to cultivate your mission or increase annual income.

For more information, please consider the following sources:

Publication 557:
Exempt Organizations (UBI) Tax Statistics:,,id=97210,00.html

No comments: