CHAPTER 1Distinguishing Characteristics of Tax-Exempt Organizations

The world of tax-exempt (or simply exempt) organizations includes a broad range of nonprofit institutions: churches, schools, charities, business leagues, political parties, schools, country clubs, and united giving campaigns—all conducting a wide variety of pursuits intended to serve the public, or common, good. All exempt organizations (EOs) share the common attribute of being organized for the advancement of a group of persons, rather than particular individuals or businesses. Most EOs are afforded special tax and legal status precisely because of the selfless motivation behind their formation.

The common thread running through the various types of EOs is the lack of private ownership ...

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