26 CFR § 53.4942(b)-3 - Determination of compliance with operating foundation tests.

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§ 53.4942(b)-3 Determination of compliance with operating foundation tests.

(a) In general. A foundation may satisfy the income test and either the assets, endowment, or support test by satisfying such tests for any 3 taxable years during a 4-year period consisting of the taxable year in question and the three immediately preceding taxable years or on the basis of an aggregation of all pertinent amounts of income or assets held, received, or distributed during such 4-year period. A foundation may not use one method for satisfying the income test described in paragraph (a) of § 53.4942(b)-1 and another for satisfying either the assets, endowment, or support test described in § 53.4942(b)-2. Thus, if a foundation satisfies the income test on the 3-out-of-4-year basis for a particular taxable year, it may not use the aggregation method for satisfying either the assets, endowment, or support test for such particular taxable year. However, the fact that a foundation has chosen one method for satisfying the tests under §§ 53.4942(b)-1 and 53.4942(b)-2 for 1 taxable year will not preclude it from satisfying such tests for a subsequent taxable year by the alternate method. If a foundation fails to satisfy the income test and either the assets, endowment, or support test for a particular taxable year under either the 3-out-of-4-year method or the aggregation method, it shall be treated as a nonoperating foundation for such taxable year and for all subsequent taxable years until it satisfies the tests set forth in §§ 53.4942(b)-1 and 53.4942(b)-2 for a taxable year occurring after the taxable year in which it was treated as a nonoperating foundation.

(b) New organizations -

(1) In general. Except as provided in subparagraph (2) of this paragraph, an organization organized after December 31, 1969, will be treated as an operating foundation only if it has satisfied the tests set forth in §§ 53.4942(b)-1 and 53.4942(b)-2 for its first taxable year of existence. If an organization satisfies such tests for its 1st taxable year, it will be treated as an operating foundation from the beginning of such taxable year. If such is the case, the organization will be treated as an operating foundation for its 2d and 3d taxable years of existence only if it satisfies the tests set forth in §§ 53.4942(b)-1 and 53.4942(b)-2 by the aggregation method for all such taxable years that it has been in existence.

(2) Special rule. An organization organized after December 31, 1969, will be treated as an operating foundation prior to the end of its 1st taxable year if such organization has made a good faith determination that it is likely to satisfy the income test set forth in paragraph (a) of § 53.4942(b)-1 and one of the tests set forth in § 53.4942(b)-2 for such 1st taxable year pursuant to subparagraph (1) of this paragraph. Such a “good faith determination” ordinarily will be considered as made where the determination is based on an affidavit or opinion of counsel of such organization that such requirements will be satisfied. Such an affidavit or opinion must set forth sufficient facts concerning the operations and support of such organization for the Commissioner to be able to determine that such organization is likely to satisfy such requirements. An organization which, pursuant to this subparagraph, has been treated as an operating foundation for its 1st taxable year, but actually fails to qualify as an operating foundation under subparagraph (1) of this paragraph for such taxable year, will be treated as a private foundation which is not an operating foundation as of the 1st day of its 2d taxable year for purposes of making any determination under the internal revenue laws with respect to such organization. The preceding sentence shall not apply if such organization establishes to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that it is likely to qualify as an operating foundation on the basis of its 2d, 3d, and 4th taxable years. Thus, if such an organization fails to qualify as an operating foundation in its 2d, 3d, or 4th taxable year after having failed in its 1st taxable year, it will be treated as a private foundation which is not an operating foundation as of the 1st day of such 2d, 3d, or 4th taxable year in which it fails to qualify as an operating foundation, except as otherwise provided by paragraph (d) of this section. Such status as a private foundation which is not an operating foundation will continue until such time as the organization is able to satisfy the tests set forth in §§ 53.4942(b)-1 and 53.4942(b)-2 by either the 3-out-of-4-year method or the aggregation method. For the status of grants or contributions made to such an organization with respect to sections 170 and 4942, see paragraph (d) of this section.

(c) Transitional rule for existing organizations. An organization organized before December 31, 1969 (including organizations deemed to be so organized by virtue of the principles of paragraph (e)(2) of § 53.4942(a)-2), but which is unable to satisfy the tests under §§ 53.4942(b)-1 and 53.4942(b)-2 for its first taxable year beginning after December 31, 1969 on the basis of its operations for taxable years prior to such taxable year by either the 3-out-of-4-year method or the aggregation method, will be treated as a new organization for purposes of paragraph (b) of this section only if:

(1) The organization changes its methods of operation prior to its first taxable year beginning after December 31, 1972 to conform to the requirements of §§ 53.4942(b)-1 and 53.4942 (b)-2;

(2) The organization has made a good faith determination (within the meaning of paragraph (b) (2) of the section) that it is likely to satisfy the tests set forth in §§ 53.4942(b)-1 and 53.4942(b)-2 prior to its first taxable year beginning after December 31, 1972 on the basis of its income or assets held, received, or distributed during its taxable years beginning in 1970 through 1972; and

(3) Such good faith determination is attached to the return the organization is required to file under section 6033 for its taxable year beginning in 1972.

(d) Treatment of contributions -

(1) In general. The status of grants or contributions made to an operating foundation with respect to sections 170 and 4942 will not be affected until notice of change of status of such organization is made to the public (such as by publication in the Internal Revenue Bulletin), unless the grant or contribution was made after:

(i) The act or failure to act that resulted in the organization's inability to satisfy the requirements of §§ 53.4942 (b)-1 and 53.4942(b)-2, and the grantor or contributor was responsible for, or was aware of, such act or failure to act, or

(ii) The grantor or contributor acquired knowledge that the Commissioner has given notice to such organization that it would be deleted from classification as an operating foundation.

(2) Exception. For purposes of subparagraph (1) (i) of this paragraph, a grantor or contributor will not be considered to be responsible for, or aware of, the act or failure to act that resulted in the grantee organization's inability to satisfy the requirements of §§ 53.4942 (b)-1 and 53.4942(b)-2 if such grantor or contributor has made his grant or contribution in reliance upon a written statement by the grantee organization that such grant or contribution would not result in the inability of such grantee organization to qualify as an operating foundation. Such a statement must be signed by a foundation manager (as defined in section 4946(b)) of the grantee organization and must set forth sufficient facts concerning the operations and support of such grantee organization to assure a reasonably prudent man that his grant or contribution will not result in the grantee organization's inability to qualify as an operating foundation.