26 CFR § 53.4941(d)-1 - Definition of self-dealing.
(a) In general. For purposes of section 4941, the term self-dealing means any direct or indirect transaction described in § 53.4941(d)-2. For purposes of this section, it is immaterial whether the transaction results in a benefit or a detriment to the private foundation. The term “self-dealing” does not, however, include a transaction between a private foundation and a disqualified person where the disqualified person status arises only as a result of such transaction. For example, the bargain sale of property to a private foundation is not a direct act of self-dealing if the seller becomes a disqualified person only by reason of his becoming a substantial contributor as a result of the bargain element of the sale. For the effect of sections 4942, 4943, 4944, and 4945 upon an act of self-dealing which also results in the imposition of tax under one or more of such sections, see the regulations under those sections.
(b) Indirect self-dealing -
(1) Certain business transactions. The term “indirect self-dealing” shall not include any transaction described in § 53.4941(d)-2 between a disqualified person and an organization controlled by a private foundation (within the meaning of paragraph (6)(5) of this section) if:
(i) The transaction results from a business relationship which was established before such transaction constituted an act of self-dealing (without regard to this paragraph),
(b) Because of the unique nature of the product or services provided by the organization controlled by the foundation, the disqualified person could not have engaged in the transaction with anyone else, or could have done so only by incurring severe economic hardship. See example (2) of subparagraph (8) of this paragraph.
(2) Grants to intermediaries. The term “indirect self-dealing” shall not include a transaction engaged in with a government official by an intermediary organization which is a recipient of a grant from a private foundation and which is not controlled by such foundation (within the meaning of paragraph (6) (5) of this section) if the private foundation does not earmark the use of the grant for any named government official and there does not exist an agreement, oral or written, whereby the grantor foundation may cause the selection of the government official by the intermediary organization. A grant by a private foundation is earmarked if such grant is made pursuant to an agreement, either oral or written, that the grant will be used by any named individual. Thus, a grant by a private foundation shall not constitute an indirect act of self-dealing even though such foundation had reason to believe that certain government officials would derive benefits from such grant so long as the intermediary organization exercises control, in fact, over the selection process and actually makes the selection completely independently of the private foundation. See example (3) of subparagraph (8) of this paragraph.
(3) Transactions during the administration of an estate or revocable trust. The term “indirect self-dealing” shall not include a transaction with respect to a private foundation's interest or expectancy in property (whether or not encumbered) held by an estate (or revocable trust, including a trust which has become irrevocable on a grantor's death), regardless of when title to the property vests under local law, if:
(i) The administrator or executor of an estate or trustee of a revocable trust either:
(a) Possesses a power of sale with respect to the property,
(b) Has the power to reallocate the property to another beneficiary, or
(c) Is required to sell the property under the terms of any option subject to which the property was acquired by the estate (or revocable trust);
(iii) Such transaction occurs before the estate is considered terminated for Federal income tax purposes pursuant to paragraph (a) of § 1.641(b)-3 of this chapter (or in the case of a revocable trust, before it is considered subject to sec. 4947);
(iv) The estate (or trust) receives an amount which equals or exceeds the fair market value of the foundation's interest or expectancy in such property at the time of the transaction, taking into account the terms of any option subject to which the property was acquired by the estate (or trust); and
(v) With respect to transactions occurring after April 16, 1973, the transaction either:
(a) Results in the foundation receiving an interest or expectancy at least as liquid as the one it gave up,
(b) Results in the foundation receiving an asset related to the active carrying out of its exempt purposes, or
(c) Is required under the terms of any option which is binding on the estate (or trust).
(4) Transactions with certain organizations. A transaction between a private foundation and an organization which is not controlled by the foundation (within the meaning of subparagraph (5) of this paragraph), and which is not described in section 4946(a)(1) (E), (F), or (G) because persons described in section 4946(a)(1) (A), (B), (C), or (D) own no more than 35 percent of the total combined voting power or profits or beneficial interest of such organization, shall not be treated as an indirect act of self-dealing between the foundation and such disqualified persons solely because of the ownership interest of such persons in such organization.
(5) Control. For purposes of this paragraph, an organization is controlled by a private foundation if the foundation or one or more of its foundation managers (acting only in such capacity) may, only by aggregating their votes or positions of authority, require the organization to engage in a transaction which if engaged in with the private foundation would constitute self-dealing. Similarly, for purposes of this paragraph, an organization is controlled by a private foundation in the case of such a transaction between the organization and a disqualified person, if such disqualified person, together with one or more persons who are disqualified persons by reason of such a person's relationship (within the meaning of section 4946(a)(1) (C) through (G)) to such disqualified person, may, only by aggregating their votes or positions of authority with that of the foundation, require the organization to engage in such a transaction. The “controlled” organization need not be a private foundation; for example, it may be any type of exempt or nonexempt organization including a school, hospital, operating foundation, or social welfare organization. For purposes of this paragraph, an organization will be considered to be controlled by a private foundation or by a private foundation and disqualified persons referred to in the second sentence of this subparagraph if such persons are able, in fact, to control the organization (even if their aggregate voting power is less than 50 percent of the total voting power of the organization's governing body) or if one or more of such persons has the right to exercise veto power over the actions of such organization relevant to any potential acts of self-dealing. A private foundation shall not be regarded as having control over an organization merely because it exercises expenditure responsibility (as defined in section 4945 (d)(4) and (h)) with respect to contributions to such organization. See example (6) of subparagraph (8) of this paragraph.
(6) Certain transactions involving limited amounts. The term “indirect self-dealing” shall not include any transaction between a disqualified person and an organization controlled by a private foundation (within the meaning of subparagraph (5) of this paragraph) or between two disqualified persons where the foundation's assets may be affected by the transaction if:
(i) The transaction arises in the normal and customary course of a retail business engaged in with the general public,
(ii) In the case of a transaction between a disqualified person and an organization controlled by a private foundation, the transaction is at least as favorable to the organization controlled by the foundation as an arm's-length transaction with an unrelated person, and
(iii) The total of the amounts involved in such transactions with respect to any one such disqualified person in any one taxable year does not exceed $5,000.
(7) Applicability of statutory exceptions to indirect self-dealing. The term “indirect self-dealing” shall not include a transaction involving one or more disqualified persons to which a private foundation is not a party, in any case in which the private foundation, by reason of section 4941(d)(2), could itself engage in such a transaction. Thus, for example, even if a private foundation has control (within the meaning of subparagraph (5) of this paragraph) of a corporation, the corporation may pay to a disqualified person, except a government official, reasonable compensation for personal services.
(8) Examples. The provisions of this paragraph may be illustrated by the following examples: