Public Support Test [2017]

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Nonprofits exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are classified as either a public charity or a private foundation. Generally, public charity is the more favorable status, as private foundations are subject to additional regulations and excise taxes. In order to retain public charity status, most nonprofit organizations need to meet one of two "public support tests," which measures an organization's public support over a five year period. This publication provides an overview of both public support tests.