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23 September 2014
Bradley and Karen discuss the key differences between 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) organizations in the USA, and discuss recent refusals by the IRS to grant such statuses to Open Source and Free Software orgs.
This show was released on Tuesday 23 September 2014; its running time is 00:49:25.
Segment 0 (00:34)
- Bradley mentioned the 501(c)(3) vs. 501(c)(6) difference came up on FaiF 0x41. (03:35)
- Bradley mentioned that in 501(c)(3) status from the IRS is based on receiving some status governed by §170(b)(1)(A) of the tax code. (Most Free Software charities, such as Conservancy, are classifed as non-profit charities under §170(b)(1)(A)(vi).) (05:10)
- Bradley mentioned this issue had been discussed on FLOSS Foundations' mailing list (05:50)
- Bradley discussed that at the OSCON 2013 tutorial, Community Foundations 101, most of the 501(c)(6) representatives who spoke argued incorrectly that the differences between 501(c)(3)'s and 501(c)(6)'s were not substantive. (10:50)
- Karen referenced how the
TV show Silicon Valley parodies the irony of for-profit
software companies claiming they
make the world a better place. (11:58)
- Bradley mentioned he was inspired by Michael Moore in his work on Free Software. (15:02)
- Bradley mentioned Karen's talk called Identity Crisis (15:21)
- Karen mentioned that open source was on the list of items the IRS gave additional scrutiny. (16:51)
- Bradley mentioned a blog post by Jim Nelson where Yorba's rejection was discussed; Yorba's 501(c)(3) application was previously discussed on was discussed on 0x1C, and covered in many other places. (17:46)
- Karen wrote a blog post about why she isn't worried for Conservancy's 501(c)(3) status at this time. (18:30)
- Bradley mentioned that IRS decisions don't make precedent, and if there's a dispute, it would go to USA Tax Court (19:00)
- Mozilla Foundation's odd hybrid for-profit/non-profit model was audited by the IRS, and Mozilla Foundation settled with the IRS. (20:22)
- Open Stack Foundation was initially denied 501(c)(6) status, as reported on Mark McLoughlin's blog. (25:10)
- Bradley promised links to both Yorba's 501(c)(3) denial letter from the IRS and Open Stack Foundation's 501(c)(6) denial letter from the IRS. (The response to the IRS from OpenStack, written by DLA Piper, OpenStack Foundation's law firm, is also available, too. (27:15)
- Bradley and Karen discussed Board of Directors meetings in FaiF 0x45: I'm Board (31:40)
- Bradley mentioned the How fresh stays fresh campaign, which includes the Nature's Pause Button television commercials by the American Frozen Food Institute, which is a 501(c)(6) organization. It's FY 2012 Form 990 is the most recent on available.
- Bradley also mentioned the Beef: It's What's For Dinner advertisting campaign that has existed for decades in the USA, which is sponsored by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Inc. which is a 501(c)(6) as well. It's FY 2012 Form 990 is the most recent on available. (35:40)
- Bradley further mentioned the Pork: the other white meat advertising campaign, which has also existed for decades but is now called the Pork: Be Inspired campaign, seems a bit more dubious in its non-profit existence. It appears to be funded by the National Pork Board Foundation, which is ostensibly a 501(c)(3) but has no assets, revnue nor expenses, and appears to be a front for an org called the America's Pork Producers / Pork Checkoff, which appears to be some quasi-govermental agency related to pork (in other words, it's pork for pork). More research would probably be needed to figure out better what's going on here with regard to non-profit status, but it seems that unlike the Beef ads, which are clearly funded by a 501(c)(6), this campaign is funded by a separate legislation, presumably unrelated to §501(c). There is, BTW, also, a 501(c)(5) called the National Pork Producers Council, which appears to be where the big money is (— not surprisingly — 501(c)(4)'s and 501(c)(5)'s often make 501(c)(6)'s and 501(c)(3)'s look tiny by comparison). (36:13)