U.S Code last checked for updates: Jun 25, 2024
§ 513.
Unrelated trade or business
(a)
General rule
The term “unrelated trade or business” means, in the case of any organization subject to the tax imposed by section 511, any trade or business the conduct of which is not substantially related (aside from the need of such organization for income or funds or the use it makes of the profits derived) to the exercise or performance by such organization of its charitable, educational, or other purpose or function constituting the basis for its exemption under section 501 (or, in the case of an organization described in section 511(a)(2)(B), to the exercise or performance of any purpose or function described in section 501(c)(3)), except that such term does not include any trade or business—
(1)
in which substantially all the work in carrying on such trade or business is performed for the organization without compensation; or
(2)
which is carried on, in the case of an organization described in section 501(c)(3) or in the case of a college or university described in section 511(a)(2)(B), by the organization primarily for the convenience of its members, students, patients, officers, or employees, or, in the case of a local association of employees described in section 501(c)(4) organized before May 27, 1969, which is the selling by the organization of items of work-related clothes and equipment and items normally sold through vending machines, through food dispensing facilities, or by snack bars, for the convenience of its members at their usual places of employment; or
(3)
which is the selling of merchandise, substantially all of which has been received by the organization as gifts or contributions.
(b)
Special rule for trusts
The term “unrelated trade or business” means, in the case of—
(1)
a trust computing its unrelated business taxable income under section 512 for purposes of section 681; or
(2)
a trust described in section 401(a), or section 501(c)(17), which is exempt from tax under section 501(a);
any trade or business regularly carried on by such trust or by a partnership of which it is a member.
(c)
Advertising, etc., activities
(d)
Certain activities of trade shows, State fairs, etc.
(1)
General rule
(2)
Qualified public entertainment activities
For purposes of this subsection—
(A)
Public entertainment activity
(B)
Qualified public entertainment activity
The term “qualified public entertainment activity” means a public entertainment activity which is conducted by a qualifying organization described in subparagraph (C) in—
(i)
conjunction with an international, national, State, regional, or local fair or exposition,
(ii)
accordance with the provisions of State law which permit the activity to be operated or conducted solely by such an organization, or by an agency, instrumentality, or political subdivision of such State, or
(iii)
accordance with the provisions of State law which permit such an organization to be granted a license to conduct not more than 20 days of such activity on payment to the State of a lower percentage of the revenue from such licensed activity than the State requires from organizations not described in section 501(c)(3), (4), or (5).
(C)
Qualifying organization
(3)
Qualified convention and trade show activities
(A)
Convention and trade show activities
(B)
Qualified convention and trade show activity
(C)
Qualifying organization
(4)
Such activities not to affect exempt status
(e)
Certain hospital services
In the case of a hospital described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(iii), the term “unrelated trade or business” does not include the furnishing of one or more of the services described in section 501(e)(1)(A) to one or more hospitals described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(iii) if—
(1)
such services are furnished solely to such hospitals which have facilities to serve not more than 100 inpatients;
(2)
such services, if performed on its own behalf by the recipient hospital, would constitute activities in exercising or performing the purpose or function constituting the basis for its exemption; and
(3)
such services are provided at a fee or cost which does not exceed the actual cost of providing such services, such cost including straight line depreciation and a reasonable amount for return on capital goods used to provide such services.
(f)
Certain bingo games
(1)
In general
(2)
Bingo game defined
For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “bingo game” means any game of bingo—
(A)
of a type in which usually—
(i)
the wagers are placed,
(ii)
the winners are determined, and
(iii)
the distribution of prizes or other property is made,
in the presence of all persons placing wagers in such game,
(B)
the conducting of which is not an activity ordinarily carried out on a commercial basis, and
(C)
the conducting of which does not violate any State or local law.
(g)
Certain pole rentals
(h)
Certain distributions of low cost articles without obligation to purchase and exchanges and rentals of member lists
(1)
In general
In the case of an organization which is described in section 501 and contributions to which are deductible under paragraph (2) or (3) of section 170(c), the term “unrelated trade or business” does not include—
(A)
activities relating to the distribution of low cost articles if the distribution of such articles is incidental to the solicitation of charitable contributions, or
(B)
any trade or business which consists of—
(i)
exchanging with another such organization names and addresses of donors to (or members of) such organization, or
(ii)
renting such names and addresses to another such organization.
(2)
Low cost article defined
For purposes of this subsection—
(A)
In general
(B)
Aggregation rule
(C)
Indexation of $5 amount
In the case of any taxable year beginning in a calendar year after 1987, the $5 amount in subparagraph (A) shall be increased by an amount equal to—
(i)
$5, multiplied by
(ii)
the cost-of-living adjustment determined under section 1(f)(3) for the calendar year in which the taxable year begins, by substituting “calendar year 1987” for “calendar year 2016” in subparagraph (A)(ii) thereof.
(3)
Distribution which is incidental to the solicitation of charitable contributions described
For purposes of this subsection, any distribution of low cost articles by an organization shall be treated as a distribution incidental to the solicitation of charitable contributions only if—
(A)
such distribution is not made at the request of the distributee,
(B)
such distribution is made without the express consent of the distributee, and
(C)
the articles so distributed are accompanied by—
(i)
a request for a charitable contribution (as defined in section 170(c)) by the distributee to such organization, and
(ii)
a statement that the distributee may retain the low cost article regardless of whether such distributee makes a charitable contribution to such organization.
(i)
Treatment of certain sponsorship payments
(1)
In general
(2)
Qualified sponsorship payments
For purposes of this subsection—
(A)
In general
(B)
Limitations
(i)
Contingent payments
(ii)
Safe harbor does not apply to periodicals and qualified convention and trade show activities
The term “qualified sponsorship payment” does not include—
(I)
any payment which entitles the payor to the use or acknowledgement of the name or logo (or product lines) of the payor’s trade or business in regularly scheduled and printed material published by or on behalf of the payee organization that is not related to and primarily distributed in connection with a specific event conducted by the payee organization, or
(II)
any payment made in connection with any qualified convention or trade show activity (as defined in subsection (d)(3)(B)).
(3)
Allocation of portions of single payment
(j)
Debt management plan services
(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 172; Pub. L. 86–667, § 4, July 14, 1960, 74 Stat. 536; Pub. L. 91–172, title I, § 121(b)(4), (c), Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 541, 542; Pub. L. 94–455, title XIII, §§ 1305(a), 1311(a), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1716, 1729; Pub. L. 95–502, title III, § 301(a), Oct. 21, 1978, 92 Stat. 1702; Pub. L. 96–605, title I, § 106(b), Dec. 28, 1980, 94 Stat. 3524;
cite as: 26 USC 513