Records indicate that the Trump Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt "private foundation" (as opposed to a 501(c)(3) "public charity")). Private foundations are subject to a panoply of reporting and disclosure obligations. If anyone is truly serious about examining the Trump Foundation's records and activities, he/she can request those records directly from the Trump Foundation. Here's a snapshot of some of the applicable disclosure requirements (taken from the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4221pf.pdf). I hope someone has already requested the relevant documents or is in the process of doing so. Let's see what the Trump Foundation is hiding.
What Disclosures Are Required?
There are a number of disclosure requirements for private foundations. Detailed information on federal tax law disclosure requirements for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations can be found in Publication 557, Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization on the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov/eo.
Public Inspection of Annual Returns and Exemption Applications
A private foundation must make the following documents available for public inspection and copying upon request and without charge (except a reasonable charge for copying). The IRS also makes these documents available for public inspection and copying.
Exemption Application – A private foundation must make available for public inspection its approved exemption application, Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, along with each of the following documents: n all documents submitted with Form 1023; n all documents the IRS requires the organization to submit in support of its application; and, n the determination letter issued by the IRS.
Form 990-PF – A private foundation must make available for public inspection its annual information return, Form 990-PF, with schedules, attachments, and supporting documents filed with the IRS. Returns need to be available for disclosure for only three years after the later of the due date or filing date of the return.
Form 990-T – A private foundation must make its 990-T available for public inspection for three years beginning on the last day (including extensions) for filing the return. Read the instructions to Form 990-T at www.irs.gov/eo for information regarding how the returns are to be made public.
Public Inspection and Disclosure Procedures
A private foundation may place reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of in person inspection and copying, and may charge a reasonable fee for providing copies. It can charge no more for the copies than the per page rate the IRS charges for providing copies. A tax-exempt organization does not have to comply with individual requests for copies if it makes the documents widely available. This can be done by posting the documents on a readily accessible website. However, it must still allow public inspection by office visitation.
All publicly available information may be obtained from the IRS by filing Form 4506-A, Request for Public Inspection or Copy of Exempt Organization or Political Organization IRS Form. An organization may obtain a complete copy of its own application by filing Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return. For details on the public inspection and disclosure rules and procedures for 501(c)(3) organizations, go to the Life Cycle of a Private Foundation, or read the instructions for Forms 990-PF, 990-T, and 1023 at www.irs.gov/eo.