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Apprentice Fund Requesting 501(c)(3) Determination - Puzzling Form 1023 Questions


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I represent an apprentice fund that was originally organized as a 501(c)(5) labor organization. It decided during 2019 to apply for recognition as a 501(c)(3) because it qualifies as a school. In preparing the Form 1023, there are a lot of questions about relationships and the instructions to the 1023 do not address how to respond to these types of questions. For example, Part V. line 2a asks if any of the officers, directors, or trustees are related to each other through family or business relationships. It is not clear how far family relationships extend, such as whether in-laws would be included and it is not clear from the list of trustees whether any of them are in-laws to any other trustee or officer or director. As far as business relationship, is a union trustee who is also an officer of the local union in a business relationship with him or herself or with other trustees who are similarly situated? Part V, line 1c asks whether any of the officers, directors or trustees are related to the highest compensated employees or highest compensated independent contractors who are listed in 1b or 1c above. Again they are asking about a family or business relationship. Part V, line 3b introduces a new term. It asks whether each of the officers, directors, trustees, highest compensated employees and highest compensated independent contractors receive compensation through any other organizations related to the organization through common control. I noticed that the IRS Regs at Section 1.414(c)-5 contain regulations for determining whether tax-exempts are under common control. There is not an overlap of employer trustees among any of the funds established by the local union but there is overlap on the union trustee side. In fact, one or two of the trustees of some of the funds are either also trustees of some or all of the other funds as well as officers of the local union. Given that the union local is very small in membership, it is likely that the officers ol the local, who appoint the union-side trustees would appoint themselves as trustees to one or more of their funds. Is this sufficient to give rise to common control?  Next, in Part VIII, line 15, another new concept is introduced. There, the question is whether the organization has a close connection with any organizations. What is a close connection? Is it overlapping union trustees of a small local union? Does it mean that two or more funds sometimes, often or seldom work together to accompish the same or similar goals? Since the instructions are silent, is there some guide book toward preparation of a 1023 that explains these concepts in greater detail?

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I have not filed for  an org to get tax-exempt status in several years, but my recollection is that the instructions to the 1023 are the Bible. This question sounds like the juxtaposition of a union situation with a tax -exempt org and could be problematic. I would follow the 1023 instructions to the letter, and I am also thinking that there should be one or more publications on NFPs out there that would clarify this more fully. How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation

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