No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Does the IRS Recycle?

Kent Seton - Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In Revenue Ruling 72,560, the IRS justifies the lawfulness of charities "selling recycled" materials which led to partial funding for the Charity in question. You might say to yourself, "I thought the IRS taxed business activities! Didn't they get this one wrong?!!!!" Well, if you look at this ruling the IRS sets forward some very basic comments concerning organizations that "combat community deterioration". First, the IRS states unequivocally, that such a purpose is CHARITABLE. Then, the IRS says that organizations that acquire a facility, engage staff members, promote workshops and conferences on disposing of waste materials which are "bad" for the environment is doing what is necessary to carry out its stated purposes. Furthermore, the IRS "selling the "waste" is merely incidental to the Charity carrying outs purposes and thus, does not make this a "non-charitable activity". Subject to a lawyers review of your particular circumstances, this seems to indicate a strong leaning by the IRS that it will support organizations engaged in "preserving the environment" and recycling.

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