26 CFR 56.4911-7 - Affiliated group of organizations.

§ 56.4911-7 Affiliated group of organizations.
(a) Affiliation between two organizations. Sections 4911(f) (1) through (3) contain a limited anti-abuse rule for groups of affiliated organizations. In general, the rule operates to prevent numerous organizations from being created for the purpose of avoiding the sliding-scale percentage limitation on an electing public charity's lobbying expenditures (as well as avoiding the $1,000,000 cap on a single electing public charity's lobbying expenditures). This is generally accomplished by treating the members of an affiliated group as a single organization for purposes of measuring both lobbying expenditures and permitted lobbying expenditures. The anti-abuse rule is implemented by this § 56.4911-7 and §§ 56.4911-8 and 56.4911-9. This § 56.4911-7 defines the term “affiliated group of organizations” and defines the taxable year of an affiliated group of organizations. Section 56.4911-8 provides rules concerning the exempt purpose expenditures, lobbying expenditures and grass roots expenditures of an affiliated group of organizations, as well as rules concerning the application of the excise tax imposed by section 4911(a) on excess lobbying expenditures by the group. Section 56.4911-9 provides rules concerning the application of the section 501(h) lobbying expenditure limits to members of an affiliated group of organizations. (For additional rules for members of a limited affiliated group of organizations (generally, organizations that are affiliated solely by reason of governing instrument provisions that extend control solely with respect to national legislation), see section 4911(f)(4) and § 56.4911-10).
(1) In general. For purposes of the regulations under section 4911, two organizations are affiliated, subject to the limitation described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, if one organization is able to control action on legislative issues by the other by reason of interlocking governing boards (see paragraph (b) of this section) or by reason of provisions of the governing instruments of the controlled organization (see paragraph (c) of this section). The ability of the controlling organization to control action on legislative issues by the controlled organization is sufficient to establish that the organizations are affiliated; it is not necessary that the control be exercised.
(2) Organizations not described in section 501(c)(3). Two organizations, neither of which is described in section 501(c)(3), are affiliated only if there exists at least one organization described in section 501(c)(3) that is affiliated with both organizations.
(3) Action on legislative issues. For purposes of this section, the term “action on legislative issues” includes taking a position in the organization's name on legislation, authorizing any person to take a position in the organization's name on legislation, or authorizing any lobbying expenditures. The phrase does not include actions taken merely to correct unauthorized actions taken in the organization's name.
(b) Interlocking governing boards—
(1) In general. Two organizations have interlocking governing boards if one organization (the controlling organization) has a sufficient number of representatives (within the meaning of paragraph (b)(5) of this section) on the governing board of the second organization (the controlled organization) so that by aggregating their votes, the representatives of the controlling organization can cause or prevent action on legislative issues by the controlled organization. If two organizations have interlocking governing boards, the organizations are affiliated without regard to how or whether the representatives of the controlling organization vote on any particular matter.
(2) Majority or quorum. Except as provided in paragraph (b) (3) or (4) of this section, the number of representatives of an organization (the controlling organization) who are members of the governing board of a second organization (the controlled organization) will be presumed sufficient to cause or prevent action on legislative issues by the controlled organization if that number either—
(i) Constitutes a majority of incumbents on the governing board, or
(ii) Constitutes a quorum, or is sufficient to prevent a quorum, for acting on legislative issues.
(3) Votes required under governing instrument or local law. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, if under the governing documents of an organization (the controlled organization), it can be determined that a lesser number of votes than the number described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section is necessary or sufficient to cause or to prevent action on legislative issues, the number of representatives of the controlling organization who are members of the governing board of the controlled organization will be considered sufficient to cause or prevent action on legislative issues if it equals or exceeds that number.
(4) Representatives constituting less than 15% of governing board. Notwithstanding paragraph (b) (2) or (3) of this section, if the number of representatives of one organization is less than 15 percent of the incumbents on the governing board of a second organization, the two organizations are not affiliated by reason of interlocking governing boards.
(5) Representatives.
(i) This paragraph (b)(5) describes members of the governing board of one organization (the controlled organization) who are considered representatives of a second organization (the controlling organization). Under this paragraph (b)(5), a member of the governing board of a controlled organization may be a representative of more than one controlling organization. A person with no authority to vote on any issue being considered by the governing board is not a representative of any organization.
(ii) A board member of one organization (the controlled organization) is a representative of a second organization (the controlling organization) if the controlling organization has specifically designated that person to be a board member of the controlled organization. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(5)(ii) and paragraph (b)(5)(iii) of this section, a board member of the controlled organization is specifically designated by the controlling organization if the board member is selected by virtue of the right of the controlling organization, under the governing instruments of the controlled organization, either to designate a person to be a member of the controlled organization's governing board, or to select a person for a position that entitles the holder of that position to be a member of the controlled organization's governing board.
(iii) A board member of one organization who is specifically designated by a second organization, a majority of the governing board of which is made up of representatives of a third organization, is a representative of the third organization as well as being a representative of the second organization pursuant to paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section.
(iv) A board member of one organization who is also a member of the governing board of a second organization is a representative of the second organization.
(v) A board member of one organization who is an officer or paid executive staff member of a second organization is a representative of the second organization. Although titles are significant in determining whether a person is a member of the executive staff of an organization, any employee of an organization who possesses authority commonly exercised by an executive is considered an executive staff member for purposes of this paragraph (b)(5)(v).
(c) Governing instrument. One organization (the “controlling” organization) is affiliated with a second organization (the “controlled” organization) by reason of the governing instruments of the contolled organization if the governing instruments of the controlled organization limit the independent action of the controlled organization on legislative issues by requiring it to be bound by decisions of the other organization on legislative issues.
(d) Three or more organizations affiliated—
(1) Two controlled organizations affiliated. If a controlling organization described in this section is affiliated with each of two or more controlled organizations described in this section, then the controlled organizations are affiliated with each other.
(2) Chain rule. If one organization is a controlling organization described in this section with respect to a second organization and that second organization is a controlling organization with respect to a third organization, then the first organization is affiliated with the third.
(e) Affiliated group of organizations—
(1) Defined. For purposes of the regulations under section 4911, an affiliated group of organizations is a group of organizations—
(i) Each of which is affiliated with every other member for at least thirty days of the taxable year of the affiliated group (determined without regard to the election provided for in paragraph (e)(5) of this section),
(ii) Each of which is an eligible organization (within the meaning of § 1.501(h)-2(b)(1)), and
(iii) At least one of which is an electing member organization (within the meaning of paragraph (e)(4) of this section).
Each organization in a group of organizations that satisfies the requirements of the preceding sentence is a member of the affiliated group of organizations for the taxable year of the affiliated group.
(2) Multiple membership. For any taxable year of an organization, it may be a member of two or more affiliated groups of organizations.
(3) Taxable year of affiliated group. If all members of an affiliated group have the same taxable year, that taxable year is the taxable year of the affiliated group. If the members of an affiliated group do not all have the same taxable year, the taxable year of the affiliated group is the calendar year, unless the election under paragraph (e)(5) of this section is made.
(4) Electing member organization. For purposes of the regulations under section 4911, an “electing member organization” is an organization to which the expenditure test election under section 501(h) applies on at least one day of the taxable year of the affiliated group of which it is a member. For purposes of the preceding sentence (and notwithstanding § 1.501(h)-2(a)), the expenditure test is not considered to apply to the organization on any day before the date on which it files the Form 5768 making the expenditure test election.
(5) Election of member's year as group's taxable year. The taxable year of an affiliated group may be determined according to the provisions of this paragraph (e)(5) if all of the members of the affiliated group so elect. Under this paragraph (e)(5), each member organization shall apply the provisions of section 501(h) and 4911, and the regulations thereunder (unless the regulations provide otherwise), by treating its own taxable year as the taxable year of the affiliated group. The election may be made by an electing member organization by attaching to its annual return a statement from itself and every other member of the affiliated group that contains: the organization's name, address, and employer identification number; and its signed consent to the election provided for in this paragraph (e)(5). The election must be made no later than the due date of the first annual return of any electing member for its taxable year for which the member is liable for tax under section 4911(a), determined under § 56.4911-8(d). The election may not be made or revoked after the due date of the return referred to in the preceding sentence except upon such terms and conditions as the Commissioner may prescribe.
(f) Examples. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the following examples.
Example 1.
M, N, and O are eligible organizations within the meaning of § 1.501(h)-2(b)(1). Each has a governing board made up of nine members. Five members on the board of N are also members of the board of M. N designates five individuals from among its board, officers, and executive staff members to serve on the board of O. M is affiliated with N, N is affiliated with O, and M is affiliated with O.
Example 2.
X, an eligible organization, has a board consisting of 10 members. Five unaffiliated tax-exempt organizations each designate two individuals to serve on the governing board of X. A simple majority of the board of X is a quorum and may establish X's position on legislative issues. X is not affiliated with any of the five autonomous organizations by reason of interlocking governing boards.
Example 3.
P and Q are eligible organizations. The governing instruments of Q state that it will not take a position on legislation if P disapproves of the position. In addition, there is regular correspondence between P and Q with regard to positions on legislation. P is affiliated with Q regardless of whether P has ever vetoed a position taken by Q.
Example 4.
The governing board of organization R resolves to adopt the position taken on legislative issues by organization S. R and S are eligible organizations and do not have interlocking governing boards. The governing instruments of R do not mention organization S and do not indicate that R is to be bound by the decisions of legislation of any organization. R and S are not affiliated.
Example 5.
Organization Z is bound, under the terms of its governing instruments, by the legislative positions of Organization Y. Organization Y, however, is bound, under the terms of its governing instruments, by the legislative positions of Organization X. Organization X is affiliated with Y and Z; Y is affiliated with X and Z; and Z is affiliated with X and Y.
Example 6.
Organizations T and U have interlocking boards of directors. T is the controlling organization. Organization V is bound, under the terms of its governing instruments, by the legislative positions of U. T and V are affiliated because T may cause or prevent action on legislative issues by U, and V is bound by U's action. If U were the controlling organization, T and V would be affiliated as two organizations controlled by the same organization.
Example 7.
Organization A is described in section 501(c)(4). It is affiliated, as the controlling organization, with organizations K and L, both of which are described in section 501(c)(3) and are eligible to elect under section 501(h). If K elects under section 501(h), K and L are an affiliated group of organizations. Even though A is affiliated with K and L, A is not a member of that affiliated group of organizations because A is not an eligible organization within the meaning of § 1.501(h)-2(b)(1) (see § 56.4911-7(e)(1) for the definition of which affiliated organizations may be members of an affiliated group of organizations).
Example 8.
G, H, I, and J are eligible organizations. G, H, and I have elected the expenditure test under section 501(h). The governing board of J has nine members. Under the governing instruments of J, organizations G, H, and I each designate three members of the governing board of J. Also under the governing instruments of J, action on legislative issues requires the approval of any seven board members. Because the three representatives of G may prevent action on legislative issues, J is affiliated with G. Similarly, J is affiliated with each of H and I. However, under none of the rules of affiliation is G affiliated with H, or H with I, or I with G. Therefore J is a member of one affiliated group comprising G and J, of another group comprising H and J, and of a third group comprising I and J.
Example 9.
Organizations C, D, and E have been affiliated for many years and have all elected the expenditure test. Each has a taxable year ending July 31. For every day of the year ending July 31, 1992, they were eligible organizations, electing member organizations, and affiliated with each other. On no day of that year were they affiliated with any other eligible organization having a different taxable year. Therefore, the year ending July 31, 1992, is the taxable year of the affiliated group comprising C, D, and E.

Title 26 published on 2014-04-01

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