Trump Has A Family Foundation. Why Don’t You?
By: Suzanne Woolley - December 09, 2016
Everyone who is anyone, it seems, has a family foundation. And then some.
More than 40,000 of these tax-exempt organizations were actively making grants in the U.S. as of 2014, according to the Foundation Center. Among the more than 5,600 such foundations in New York is one headed by President-Elect Donald Trump, which acknowledged in a recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service that it had engaged in self-dealing.
IRS guidelines say self-dealing is "transfer to, or use by and for the benefit of, a disqualified person of the income or assets of a private foundation." Those that fall into the disqualified category include big contributors to the foundation, officers, directors or trustees, and family members. Violating those prohibitions can bring an excise tax of 10 percent on the amount in question and, ultimately, a surge in that tax to 200 percent. The head of a foundation may also have to repay the money in question.
The vast majority of family foundations are headed by people you've never heard of. Of the active family foundations, the Foundation Center found, the median asset amount was $735,000, and the average amount was $9.6 million. Data from the Council on Foundations show three out of five family foundations with less than $1 million in assets.