Section 4940: Excise tax based on investment income
Internal Revenue Code
Table of Contents
This Code Section:
§4940. Excise tax based on investment income
(a) Tax-exempt foundations
There is hereby imposed on each private foundation which is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) for the taxable year, with respect to the carrying on of its activities, a tax equal to 1.39 percent of the net investment income of such foundation for the taxable year.
(b) Taxable foundations
There is hereby imposed on each private foundation which is not exempt from taxation under section 501(a) for the taxable year, with respect to the carrying on of its activities, a tax equal to—
(1) the amount (if any) by which the sum of (A) the tax imposed under subsection (a) (computed as if such subsection applied to such private foundation for the taxable year), plus (B) the amount of the tax which would have been imposed under section 511 for the taxable year if such private foundation had been exempt from taxation under section 501(a), exceeds
(1) In general
For purposes of subsection (a), the net investment income is the amount by which (A) the sum of the gross investment income and the capital gain net income exceeds (B) the deductions allowed by paragraph (3). Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of this section, net investment income shall be determined under the principles of subtitle A.
(2) Gross investment income
For purposes of paragraph (1), the term "gross investment income" means the gross amount of income from interest, dividends, rents, payments with respect to securities loans (as defined in section 512(a)(5)), and royalties, but not including any such income to the extent included in computing the tax imposed by section 511. Such term shall also include income from sources similar to those in the preceding sentence.
(A) In general
For purposes of paragraph (1), there shall be allowed as a deduction all the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred for the production or collection of gross investment income or for the management, conservation, or maintenance of property held for the production of such income, determined with the modifications set forth in subparagraph (B).
(i) The deduction provided by section 167 shall be allowed, but only on the basis of the straight line method of depreciation.
(ii) The deduction for depletion provided by section 611 shall be allowed, but such deduction shall be determined without regard to section 613 (relating to percentage depletion).
(A) There shall not be taken into account any gain or loss from the sale or other disposition of property to the extent that such gain or loss is taken into account for purposes of computing the tax imposed by section 511.
(B) The basis for determining gain in the case of property held by the private foundation on December 31, 1969, and continuously thereafter to the date of its disposition shall be deemed to be not less than the fair market value of such property on December 31, 1969.
(C) Losses from sales or other dispositions of property shall be allowed only to the extent of gains from such sales or other dispositions, and there shall be no capital loss carryovers or carrybacks.
(D) Except to the extent provided by regulation, under rules similar to the rules of section 1031 (including the exception under subsection (a)(2) thereof), no gain or loss shall be taken into account with respect to any portion of property used for a period of not less than 1 year for a purpose or function constituting the basis of the private foundation's exemption if the entire property is exchanged immediately following such period solely for property of like kind which is to be used primarily for a purpose or function constituting the basis for such foundation's exemption.
(5) Tax-exempt income
For purposes of this section, net investment income shall be determined by applying section 103 (relating to State and local bonds) and section 265 (relating to expenses and interest relating to tax-exempt income).
(1) In general
No tax shall be imposed by this section on any private foundation which is an exempt operating foundation for the taxable year.
(2) Exempt operating foundation
For purposes of this subsection, the term "exempt operating foundation" means, with respect to any taxable year, any private foundation if—
(D) at no time during the taxable year does such foundation have an officer who is a disqualified individual.
(A) Publicly supported
A private foundation is publicly supported for a taxable year if it meets the requirements of section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) or 509(a)(2) for such taxable year.
(B) Disqualified individual
The term "disqualified individual" means, with respect to any private foundation, an individual who is—
(III) the beneficial interest of a trust or unincorporated enterprise,
which is a substantial contributor to the foundation, or
(C) Substantial contributor
The term "substantial contributor" means a person who is described in section 507(d)(2).
(E) Constructive ownership
The rules of paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 4946(a) shall apply for purposes of subparagraph (B)(ii).
Section 1221(a)(1), (b) of
"(B) the average percentage payout for the base period equals or exceeds 5 percent.
In the case of an operating foundation (as defined in section 4942(j)(3)), subparagraph (B) shall be applied by substituting '31/3 percent' for '5 percent'."
Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 2019 Amendment
Effective Date of 2007 Amendment
Effective Date of 2006 Amendment
Effective Date of 1986 Amendment
Amendment by section 1301(j)(6) of
Amendment by section 1832 of
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment
Effective Date of 1978 Amendments
"(A) Sections 4940, 4942, 4943, and 4948 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [formerly I.R.C. 1954] (as added by this section), and
"(B) The amendments made by subsection (d) [enacting
"(A) any transaction between a private foundation and a corporation which is a disqualified person (as defined in section 4946), pursuant to the terms of securities of such corporation in existence at the time acquired by the foundation, if such securities were acquired by the foundation before May 27, 1969;
"(B) the sale, exchange, or other disposition of property which is owned by a private foundation on May 26, 1969 (or which is acquired by a private foundation under the terms of a trust which was irrevocable on May 26, 1969, or under the terms of a will executed on or before such date, which are in effect on such date and at all times thereafter), to a disqualified person, if such foundation is required to dispose of such property in order not to be liable for tax under section 4943 (relating to taxes on excess business holdings) applied, in the case of a disposition before January 1, 1977, without taking section 4943(c)(4) into account and it receives in return an amount which equals or exceeds the fair market value of such property at the time of such disposition or at the time a contract for such disposition was previously executed in a transaction which would not constitute a prohibited transaction (within the meaning of section 503(b) or the corresponding provisions of prior law);
"(C) the leasing of property or the lending of money or other extension of credit between a disqualified person and a private foundation pursuant to a binding contract in effect on October 9, 1969 (or pursuant to renewals of such a contract), until taxable years beginning after December 31, 1979, if such leasing or lending (or other extension of credit) remains at least as favorable as an arm's-length transaction with an unrelated party and if the execution of such contract was not at the time of such execution a prohibited transaction (within the meaning of section 503(b) or the corresponding provisions of prior law);
"(D) the use of goods, services, or facilities which are shared by a private foundation and a disqualified person until taxable years beginning after December 31, 1979, if such use is pursuant to an arrangement in effect before October 9, 1969, and such arrangement was not a prohibited transaction (within the meaning of section 503(b) or the corresponding provisions of prior law) at the time it was made and would not be a prohibited transaction if such section continued to apply;
"(E) the use of property in which a private foundation and a disqualified person have a joint or common interest, if the interests of both in such property were acquired before October 9, 1969; and
"(F) the sale, exchange, or other disposition (other than by lease) of property which is owned by a private foundation to a disqualified person if—
"(i) such foundation is leasing substantially all of such property under a lease to which subparagraph (C) applies,
"(ii) the disposition to such disqualified person occurs before January 1, 1978, and
"(iii) such foundation receives in return for the disposition to such disqualified person an amount which equals or exceeds the fair market value of such property at the time of the disposition or at the time (after June 30, 1976) a contract for the disposition was previously executed in a transaction which would not constitute a prohibited transaction (within the meaning of section 503(b) or any corresponding provision of prior law).
"(A) for all purposes other than the determination of the minimum investment return under section 4942(j)(3)(B)(ii), for taxable years beginning before January 1, 1972, apply without regard to section 4942(e) (relating to minimum investment return), and for taxable years beginning in 1972, 1973, and 1974, apply with an applicable percentage (as prescribed in section 4942(e)(3)) which does not exceed 4½ percent, 5 percent, and 5½ percent, respectively;
"(B) not apply to an organization to the extent its income is required to be accumulated pursuant to the mandatory terms (as in effect on May 26, 1969, and at all times thereafter) of an instrument executed before May 27, 1969, with respect to the transfer of income producing property to such organization, except that section 4942 shall apply to such organization if the organization would have been denied exemption if section 504(a) had not been repealed by this Act, or would have had its deductions under section 642(c) limited if section 681(c) had not been repealed by this Act. In applying the preceding sentence, in addition to the limitations contained in section 504(a) or 681(c) before its repeal, section 504(a)(1) or 681(c)(1) shall be treated as not applying to an organization to the extent its income is required to be accumulated pursuant to the mandatory terms (as in effect on January 1, 1951, and at all times thereafter) of an instrument executed before January 1, 1951, with respect to the transfer of income producing property to such organization before such date, if such transfer was irrevocable on such date;
"(C) apply to a grant to a private foundation described in section 4942(g)(1)(A)(ii) which is not described in section 4942(g)(1)(A)(i), pursuant to a written commitment which was binding on May 26, 1969, and at all times thereafter, as if such grant is a grant to an operating foundation (as defined in section 4942(j)(3)), if such grant is made for one or more of the purposes described in section 170(c)(2)(B) and is to be paid out to such private foundation on or before December 31, 1974;
"(D) apply, for purposes of section 4942(f), in such a manner as to treat any distribution made to a private foundation in redemption of stock held by such private foundation in a business enterprise as not essentially equivalent to a dividend under section 302(b)(1) if such redemption is described in paragraph (2)(B) of this subsection;
"(E) not apply to an organization which is prohibited by its governing instrument or other instrument from distributing capital or corpus to the extent the requirements of section 4942 are inconsistent with such prohibition; and
"(F) apply, in the case of an organization described in paragraph (4)(A) of this subsection,
"(i) by applying section 4942(e) without regard to the stock to which paragraph (4)(A)(ii) of this subsection applies,
"(ii) by applying section 4942(f) without regard to dividend income for such stock, and
"(iii) by defining the distributable amount as the sum of the amount determined under section 4942(d) (after the application of clauses (i) and (ii)), and the amount of the dividend income from such stock.
With respect to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1971, subparagraphs (B) and (E) shall apply only during the pendency of any judicial proceeding by the private foundation which is necessary to reform, or to excuse such foundation from compliance with, its governing instrument or any other instrument (as in effect on May 26, 1969) in order to comply with the provisions of section 4942, and in the case of subparagraph (B) for all periods after the termination of such judicial proceeding during which the governing instrument or any other instrument does not permit compliance with such provisions.
"(A) In the case of a private foundation—
"(i) which was incorporated before January 1, 1951;
"(ii) substantially all of the assets of which on May 26, 1969, consist of more than 90 percent of the stock of an incorporated business enterprise which is licensed and regulated, the sales or contracts of which are regulated, and the professional representatives of which are licensed, by State regulatory agencies in at least 10 States; and
"(iii) which acquired such stock solely by gift, devise, or bequest, section 4943(c)(4)(A)(i) shall be applied with respect to the holdings of such foundation in such incorporated business enterprise as if it did not contain the phrase ', but in no event shall the percentage so substituted be more than 50 percent', and section 4943(c)(4)(D) shall not apply with respect to such holdings. For purposes of the preceding sentence, stock of such enterprise in a trust created before May 27, 1969, of which the foundation is the remainder beneficiary shall be deemed to be held by such foundation on May 26, 1969, if such foundation held (without regard to such trust) more than 20 percent of the stock of such enterprise on May 26, 1969.
"(B) Subparagraph (A) shall apply to a private foundation only if—
"(i) the foundation does not purchase any stock or other interest in the enterprise described in subparagraph (A) after May 26, 1969, and does not acquire any stock or other interest in any other business enterprise which constitutes excess business holdings under section 4943; and
"(ii) in the last 5 taxable years ending on or before December 31, 1970, the foundation expends substantially all of its adjusted net income (as defined in section 4942(f)) for the purpose or function for which it is organized and operated.
"(C) For purposes of section 4943(c)(6), the term 'purchase' does not include an exchange which is described in paragraph (2)(B) of this subsection and which is pursuant to a plan for disposition of excess business holdings.
Determination of Operating Foundation Status for Certain Purposes
Plan Amendments Not Required Until January 1, 1989
For provisions directing that if any amendments made by subtitle A or subtitle C of title XI [§§1101–1147 and 1171–1177] or title XVIII [§§1800–1899A] of