26 U.S.C. § 6104 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 26. Internal Revenue Code § 6104. Publicity of information required from certain exempt organizations and certain trusts

(a) Inspection of applications for tax exemption or notice of status.--

(1) Public inspection.--

(A) Organizations described in section 501 or 527. --If an organization described in section 501(c) or (d) is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) for any taxable year or a political organization is exempt from taxation under section 527 for any taxable year, the application filed by the organization with respect to which the Secretary made his determination that such organization was entitled to exemption under section 501(a) or notice of status filed by the organization under section 527(i) , together with any papers submitted in support of such application or notice, and any letter or other document issued by the Internal Revenue Service with respect to such application or notice shall be open to public inspection at the national office of the Internal Revenue Service.  In the case of any application or notice filed after the date of the enactment of this subparagraph, a copy of such application or notice and such letter or document shall be open to public inspection at the appropriate field office of the Internal Revenue Service (determined under regulations prescribed by the Secretary).  Any inspection under this subparagraph may be made at such times, and in such manner, as the Secretary shall by regulations prescribe.  After the application of any organization for exemption from taxation under section 501(a) has been opened to public inspection under this subparagraph, the Secretary shall, on the request of any person with respect to such organization, furnish a statement indicating the subsection and paragraph of section 501 which it has been determined describes such organization.

(B) Pension, etc., plans. --The following shall be open to public inspection at such times and in such places as the Secretary may prescribe:

(i)  any application filed with respect to the qualification of a pension, profit-sharing, or stock bonus plan under section 401(a) or 403(a) , an individual retirement account described in section 408(a) , or an individual retirement annuity described in section 408(b) ,

(ii)  any application filed with respect to the exemption from tax under section 501(a) of an organization forming part of a plan or account referred to in clause (i),

(iii)  any papers submitted in support of an application referred to in clause (i) or (ii), and

(iv)  any letter or other document issued by the Internal Revenue Service and dealing with the qualification referred to in clause (i) or the exemption from tax referred to in clause (ii).

Except in the case of a plan participant, this subparagraph shall not apply to any plan referred to in clause (i) having not more than 25 participants.

(C) Certain names and compensation not to be opened to public inspection. --In the case of any application, document, or other papers, referred to in subparagraph (B), information from which the compensation (including deferred compensation) of any individual may be ascertained shall not be open to public inspection under subparagraph (B).

(D) Withholding of certain other information. --Upon request of the organization submitting any supporting papers described in subparagraph (A) or (B), the Secretary shall withhold from public inspection any information contained therein which he determines relates to any trade secret, patent, process, style of work, or apparatus, of the organization, if he determines that public disclosure of such information would adversely affect the organization.  The Secretary shall withhold from public inspection any information contained in supporting papers described in subparagraph (A) or (B) the public disclosure of which he determines would adversely affect the national defense.

(2) Inspection by committees of Congress. -- Section 6103(f) shall apply with respect to--

(A)  the application for exemption of any organization described in section 501(c) or (d) which is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) for any taxable year or notice of status of any political organization which is exempt from taxation under section 527 for any taxable year, and any application referred to in subparagraph (B) of subsection (a)(1) of this section, and

(B)  any other papers which are in the possession of the Secretary and which relate to such application,

as if such papers constituted returns.

(3) Information available on Internet and in person. --

(A) In general. --The Secretary shall make publicly available, on the Internet and at the offices of the Internal Revenue Service--

(i)  a list of all political organizations which file a notice with the Secretary under section 527(i) , and

(ii)  the name, address, electronic mailing address, custodian of records, and contact person for such organization.

(B) Time to make information available. --The Secretary shall make available the information required under subparagraph (A) not later than 5 business days after the Secretary receives a notice from a political organization under section 527(i) .

(b) Inspection of annual returns. --The information required to be furnished by sections 6033 , 6034 , and 6058 , together with the names and addresses of such organizations and trusts, shall be made available to the public at such times and in such places as the Secretary may prescribe.  Nothing in this subsection shall authorize the Secretary to disclose the name or address of any contributor to any organization or trust (other than a private foundation, as defined in section 509(a) or a political organization exempt from taxation under section 527 ) which is required to furnish such information.  In the case of an organization described in section 501(d) , this subsection shall not apply to copies referred to in section 6031(b) with respect to such organization.  In the case of a trust which is required to file a return under section 6034(a) , this subsection shall not apply to information regarding beneficiaries which are not organizations described in section 170(c) .  Any annual return which is filed under section 6011 by an organization described in section 501(c)(3) and which relates to any tax imposed by section 511 (relating to imposition of tax on unrelated business income of charitable, etc., organizations) shall be treated for purposes of this subsection in the same manner as if furnished under section 6033 .

(c) Publication to State officials.--

(1) General rule for charitable organizations. --In the case of any organization which is described in section 501(c)(3) and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) , or has applied under section 508(a) for recognition as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) , the Secretary at such times and in such manner as he may by regulations prescribe shall--

(A)  notify the appropriate State officer of a refusal to recognize such organization as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) , or of the operation of such organization in a manner which does not meet, or no longer meets, the requirements of its exemption,

(B)  notify the appropriate State officer of the mailing of a notice of deficiency of tax imposed under section 507 or chapter 41 or 42, and

(C)  at the request of such appropriate State officer, make available for inspection and copying such returns, filed statements, records, reports, and other information, relating to a determination under subparagraph (A) or (B) as are relevant to any determination under State law.

(2) Disclosure of proposed actions related to charitable organizations. --

(A) Specific notifications. --In the case of an organization to which paragraph (1) applies, the Secretary may disclose to the appropriate State officer--

(i)  a notice of proposed refusal to recognize such organization as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) or a notice of proposed revocation of such organization's recognition as an organization exempt from taxation,

(ii)  the issuance of a letter of proposed deficiency of tax imposed under section 507 or chapter 41 or 42, and

(iii)  the names, addresses, and taxpayer identification numbers of organizations which have applied for recognition as organizations described in section 501(c)(3) .

(B) Additional disclosures. --Returns and return information of organizations with respect to which information is disclosed under subparagraph (A) may be made available for inspection by or disclosed to an appropriate State officer.

(C) Procedures for disclosure. --Information may be inspected or disclosed under subparagraph (A) or (B) only--

(i)  upon written request by an appropriate State officer, and

(ii)  for the purpose of, and only to the extent necessary in, the administration of State laws regulating such organizations.

Such information may only be inspected by or disclosed to a person other than the appropriate State officer if such person is an officer or employee of the State and is designated by the appropriate State officer to receive the returns or return information under this paragraph on behalf of the appropriate State officer.

(D) Disclosures other than by request. --The Secretary may make available for inspection or disclose returns and return information of an organization to which paragraph (1) applies to an appropriate State officer of any State if the Secretary determines that such returns or return information may constitute evidence of noncompliance under the laws within the jurisdiction of the appropriate State officer.

(3) Disclosure with respect to certain other exempt organizations. --Upon written request by an appropriate State officer, the Secretary may make available for inspection or disclosure returns and return information of any organization described in section 501(c) (other than organizations described in paragraph (1) or (3) thereof) for the purpose of, and only to the extent necessary in, the administration of State laws regulating the solicitation or administration of the charitable funds or charitable assets of such organizations.  Such information may only be inspected by or disclosed to a person other than the appropriate State officer if such person is an officer or employee of the State and is designated by the appropriate State officer to receive the returns or return information under this paragraph on behalf of the appropriate State officer.

(4) Use in civil judicial and administrative proceedings. --Returns and return information disclosed pursuant to this subsection may be disclosed in civil administrative and civil judicial proceedings pertaining to the enforcement of State laws regulating such organizations in a manner prescribed by the Secretary similar to that for tax administration proceedings under section 6103(h)(4) .

(5) No disclosure if impairment. --Returns and return information shall not be disclosed under this subsection, or in any proceeding described in paragraph (4), to the extent that the Secretary determines that such disclosure would seriously impair Federal tax administration.

(6) Definitions. --For purposes of this subsection--

(A) Return and return information. --The terms “return” and “return information” have the respective meanings given to such terms by section 6103(b) .

(B) Appropriate State officer. --The term “appropriate State officer” means--

(i)  the State attorney general,

(ii)  the State tax officer,

(iii)  in the case of an organization to which paragraph (1) applies, any other State official charged with overseeing organizations of the type described in section 501(c)(3) , and

(iv)  in the case of an organization to which paragraph (3) applies, the head of an agency designated by the State attorney general as having primary responsibility for overseeing the solicitation of funds for charitable purposes.

(d) Public inspection of certain annual returns, reports, applications for exemption, and notices of status. --

(1) In general. --In the case of an organization described in subsection (c) or (d) of section 501 and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) or an organization exempt from taxation under section 527(a) --

(A)  a copy of--

(i)  the annual return filed under section 6033 (relating to returns by exempt organizations) by such organization,

(ii)  any annual return which is filed under section 6011 by an organization described in section 501(c)(3) and which relates to any tax imposed by section 511 (relating to imposition of tax on unrelated business income of charitable, etc., organizations),

(iii)  if the organization filed an application for recognition of exemption under section 501 or notice of status under section 527(i) , the exempt status application materials or any notice materials of such organization, and

(iv)  the reports filed under section 527(j) (relating to required disclosure of expenditures and contributions) by such organization,

shall be made available by such organization for inspection during regular business hours by any individual at the principal office of such organization and, if such organization regularly maintains 1 or more regional or district offices having 3 or more employees, at each such regional or district office, and

(B)  upon request of an individual made at such principal office or such a regional or district office, a copy of such annual return, reports, and exempt status application materials or such notice materials shall be provided to such individual without charge other than a reasonable fee for any reproduction and mailing costs.

The request described in subparagraph (B) must be made in person or in writing.  If such request is made in person, such copy shall be provided immediately and, if made in writing, shall be provided within 30 days.

(2) 3-year limitation on inspection of returns. --Paragraph (1) shall apply to an annual return filed under section 6011 or 6033 only during the 3-year period beginning on the last day prescribed for filing such return (determined with regard to any extension of time for filing).

(3) Exceptions from disclosure requirement. --

(A) Nondisclosure of contributors, etc. --In the case of an organization which is not a private foundation (within the meaning of section 509(a) ) or a political organization exempt from taxation under section 527 , paragraph (1) shall not require the disclosure of the name or address of any contributor to the organization. In the case of an organization described in section 501(d) , paragraph (1) shall not require the disclosure of the copies referred to in section 6031(b) with respect to such organization.

(B) Nondisclosure of certain other information. --Paragraph (1) shall not require the disclosure of any information if the Secretary withheld such information from public inspection under subsection (a)(1)(D).

(4) Limitation on providing copies. --Paragraph (1)(B) shall not apply to any request if, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary, the organization has made the requested documents widely available, or the Secretary determines, upon application by an organization, that such request is part of a harassment campaign and that compliance with such request is not in the public interest.

(5) Exempt status application materials. --For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “exempt status application materials” means the application for recognition of exemption under section 501 and any papers submitted in support of such application and any letter or other document issued by the Internal Revenue Service with respect to such application.

(6) Notice materials. --For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “notice materials” means the notice of status filed under section 527(i) and any papers submitted in support of such notice and any letter or other document issued by the Internal Revenue Service with respect to such notice.

(7) Disclosure of reports by Internal Revenue Service. --Any report filed by an organization under section 527(j) (relating to required disclosure of expenditures and contributions) shall be made available to the public at such times and in such places as the Secretary may prescribe.

(8) Application to nonexempt charitable trusts and nonexempt private foundations. --The organizations referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 6033(d) shall comply with the requirements of this subsection relating to annual returns filed under section 6033 in the same manner as the organizations referred to in paragraph (1).


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