Inflation-Adjusted Amounts for 2022

Recently, the IRS issued the 2022 annual inflation adjustments for many tax provisions, including several that pertain to nonprofit organizations. Let’s look at the adjustments that matter to you:

Low-cost Articles

Charitable organizations normally can distribute low-cost articles in connection with a fundraising campaign without fear that the IRS will treat the activity as an unrelated business activity [IRC Sec. 513(h)(1)(A)]. A low-cost article is an item that costs the organization no more than $11.70 in 2022 (up from $11.30 in 2021).

Insubstantial Benefits

The deductible portion of a donor’s contribution normally must be reduced by the value of anything received in return. However, an insubstantial benefit can be ignored, therefore allowing a full deduction, if the gift otherwise meets the requirements for claiming a contribution. The following alternative limitations are used to determine if benefits are insubstantial:

  • The fair market value of all benefits received is not more than the lesser of $117 for 2022 (up from $113 in 2021) or 2% of the contribution.
  • The contribution is at least $58.50 for 2022 (up from $56.50 in 2021), and the cost of the benefits received is no more than the low-cost article value of $11.70 for 2022 (up from $11.30 for 2021).
  • In connection with a fund-raising campaign, the benefits are distributed free to potential donors who neither requested nor expressly consented to receiving them, and their cost is no more than the low-cost article value of $11.70 for 2022.

Lobbying Expenditures

If a Section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, a Section 501(c)(5) agricultural or horticultural organization, or a Section 501(c)(6) organization has any lobbying expenditures, it normally must notify members of the portion of their dues that is nondeductible because of these expenses [IRC Sec. 6033(e)(1)(A); Rev. Proc. 98-19 ].

However, Section 501(c)(4) and (c)(5) entities are exempt from the notification requirements if (1) more than 90% of the annual dues comes from certain other tax-exempt entities, or (2) more than 90% of the dues comes from members who annually pay $124 or less for 2022 (up from $120 for 2021).

Agricultural or Horticultural Organization

The dues and similar income of an agricultural or horticultural organization are not subject to unrelated business income tax, regardless of the benefits or privileges to which the entity’s members are entitled, if the annual dues do not exceed $178 for 2022 (up from $173 in 2021) [IRC Sec. 512(d)(1)].

Penalty Provisions

Some of the penalty provisions under IRC Sec. 6652 are adjusted for inflation. Those that apply to tax-exempt organizations or their managers are summarized as follows.

Failure to File Return under IRC Sec. 6033(a)(1).

Exempt organizations can be assessed penalties for failure to file returns. The penalties listed below (not all inclusive) are for returns required to be filed in 2023.

Organization with gross receipts of $1,129,000 or less$20Lesser of $11,000 or 5% of the organization’s gross receipts for the year
Public inspection of annual returns$20$11,000
Public inspection of exemption applications and notice of status$20No limit

For a tax-exempt entity with gross receipts over $1,129,000, the daily penalty is $110, with a maximum penalty of $56,000. Failure to File Disclosure Required under IRC Sec. 6033(a)(2).

The daily penalty is $110, with a maximum penalty of $56,000. Failure to File Return under IRC Sec. 6043(b). Terminated exempt organizations and their managers can be penalized. This list is not all inclusive.


Other Penalty Provisions

There are several other penalty provisions (both taxpayer and preparer) that are adjusted annually for inflation, but they are not specific to tax-exempt organizations. See Rev. Proc. 2021-45, for additional inflation-adjusted amounts for various penalties.

Since 1974, our trusted advisors have partnered with nonprofit organizations to navigate every step of the financial journey. At Dugan & Lopatka, our CPAs and consultants are always on the cutting edge of changes in the nonprofit sector. We understand the challenges you face—the special accounting, auditing and reporting requirements of your organization—and we use our deep expertise to deliver exceptional service tailored to your needs.  

Contact us today.

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