Tax Exempt Status

The Community Foundation is incorporated in California as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, public benefit charity. Donations to the Foundation, any of our special funds, and any of our activity committees are deductible when computing federal and California income taxes. Our federal ID (FEIN) is 95-3416510, our California charity registration (CT) number is 039391, and our California corporation number is C0963440.

While we will accept donations from outside of California, we do not actively solicit donations except within this state. We are considered registered only in California.

The Community Foundation received an advance notice from the IRS of our tax-exempt status issued on 28 December 1979. A follow-up notification confirming that status was issued by the IRS on 7 June 1982. After the IRS corrected information about the Community Foundation that was inconsistent between two IRS databases, a new notification was issued by the IRS on 27 October 2000.

On occasion, charities do have their tax-exempt status revoked by the IRS, which also means that donations to such organizations no longer qualify as deductible when computing income taxes. To verify that our tax-exempt status is still in effect and that donations to the Community Foundation are currently deductible, do an on-line search of IRS Publication 78.

This online version of Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations, is intended to assist you in learning if an organization is exempt from federal taxation and, if so, determining how much of your contributions to that organization are tax deductible.

IRS’s Search for Exempt Organizations

Search on the term Oak Park, indicating CA for the state. Note that the search Web page appears in a separate window so that the information here remains available for doing the search and interpreting the result.

In the search result, the reference to A public charity with a 50% deductibility limitation. means that your donations to the Community Foundation, combined with your donations to other charities with that designation, may be itemized on Schedule A of your federal tax return as long as your total charitable deduction does not exceed 50% of your gross adjusted income. Certain types of donations (e.g.: appreciated stocks) and donations to some other charities (e.g.: veterans’ organizations) have various lower limits.

The IRS will not accept a cancelled check as proof of a deductible charitable donation greater than $250. Instead, an acknowledgement from the charity is required. The Community Foundation sends a personal (but formal) letter to each donor of $250 or more.

If the donor receives anything in exchange for a donation of $75 or more (e.g.: a ticket to a dinner dance), the Community Foundation is obligated to inform the donor how much of the donation represents the value of what was received and how much is a deductible donation.

Note that purchasing supermarket scrip from an activity committee does not result in a deductible donation; the buyer receives full value for the money paid. Also, the law explicitly denies any deduction for raffle tickets and for the value of a volunteer’s time and effort. Details about charitable deductions may be found in IRS Publication 526.

Of course, if you use a tax professional for your income tax returns, you should ask about planning future donations to optimize your income tax benefits when you are asked about past donations. Also, when consulting an estate planning professional, ask about the use of charitable bequests to optimize your estate tax benefits. The Community Foundation will accept structured donations that meet either of those goals.