Not-for-profit trade associations, or 501(c)(6) organizations, exist to promote their members’ common interests and improve business conditions or “one or more lines of interest.” Whether the association is a local chamber of commerce, a real estate board or a large professional group, associations’ tax-exempt status is contingent on their sponsoring certain types of activities — and avoiding others.

When they fail to do so, the IRS may take action.


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If you think that, once your not-for-profit receives its official tax-exempt status from the IRS, you don’t have to revisit it, think again. Whether your organization is a Section 501(c)(3), Sec. 501(c)(7) or other type, be careful.

The activities you conduct, the ways you generate revenue and how you use that revenue could potentially threaten your exempt status. It’s worth reviewing the IRS’s exempt-status rules to make sure your organization is operating within them.


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Not-for-profit board officers, directors, trustees and key employees must avoid any conflict of interest because it’s their duty to do so. Any direct or indirect financial interest in a transaction or arrangement that might benefit one of these individuals personally could result in the loss of your organization’s tax-exempt status — and its reputation.

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