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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    February 21st, 2005
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    501(c)(4)
    I am sorry if my question sounds irrelevant to this forum but I couldn't find a better one.

    We have established a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization and we are planning to create an affiliate website. Do you know if there are any legal problems that might prevent us doing that? I see many non-profit affiliate websites but I believe they are mostly in 501(c)(3) category.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    This is a very tricky question best asked of a lawyer who specializes in that part of the tax code. At a minimum you should be consulting the IRS for free guidance.

  3. #3
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    This is a very tricky question best asked of a lawyer who specializes in that part of the tax code. At a minimum you should be consulting the IRS for free guidance.
    Absolutely correct. this is a very precise area of the law and it is quite easy to lose your tax-exempt status. You really do need advice from a tax attorney.

    You can, however, look through some IRS publications, which you can find here http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html?portlet=3
    but, you cannot rely on advice provided by the IRS, especially through their telephone services. When Congress investigated the IRS about five-six years ago, they found that telephone opinions they provided were WRONG more than 1/3 of the time.

    The only time you can rely on their advice, is when you apply for an IRS written opinion on a specific question, but that costs several thousand dollars to obtain.
    Since June 10, 2012 a vegan aarf but still writing the Hound Dawg Sports Blog
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  4. #4
    Speechless OTProf's Avatar
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    Agree with above -- don't risk acting on semi-anonymous forum advice/comments! That said, my semi-anonymous forum comment is that not-for-profit status doesn't mean a NFP concern cannot make a profit (most do in fact) so it is worth looking into.

  5. #5
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    January 11th, 2006
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    Are you looking to start an affiliate program or do fundraising with them?

    You might want to consider working with an aggregator such as the Assist Business Network that will manage your affiliate program and donate a percentage of the commissions to your organization.

    This makes the accounting much easier on your end and saves you from potential headaches.

    --Brian

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