IRS 509(a) Rules
IRS Pub 557 - Tax Exempt Status for your Organization
The term educational refers to the instruction or training of individuals for the purpose of improving or developing their capabilities, or the instruction of the public on subjects useful to individuals and beneficial to the community. Advocacy of a particular position or viewpoint may be educational providing there is a sufficiently full and fair exposition of pertinent facts to permit an individual or the public to form an independent opinion or conclusion. The mere presentation of unsupported opinions is not edeucational. ...
Qualifying organizations. The following types of organizations may qualify as educational: 1) An organization such as a primary or secondary school ... 2) An organization whose activities consist of conducting public discussion groups, forums, panels, lectures, or other similar programs; 3) An organization that presents a course of instuction by means of correspondence or through the television or radio, 4) A museum, zoo, planetarium, symphony orchestra, or other similar organization.
[From the above, it appears that Troubled Times, Inc. would be considered an educational organization, especially if production of videos or hard copy were considered and in light of the geological evidence of pole shifts.]
... Relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged ... Advancement of education or science ..
[From the above, advancing education looks like a possible fit until you read what that means. It means giving money to educational institutions. There are a number of other charitable efforts, but they are like hospitals, nursing homes, pro bono law firm work, etc.]
You must show that your organizations research will be carried on in the public interest. Scientific research will be considered to be in the public interest if the results of such research (including any patents, copyrights, processes, or formulas) are made available to the public on a nondiscriminating basis ...
Scientific research, for exemptin purposes, does not include activities of a type ordinarily incidental to commercial or industrial operations as, for example, the ordinary inspection or testing of materials or products, or the designing or constructing of equipement, buildings, etc.
[The explanation following in the IRS Pub on what one must submit to explain the nature of their scientific research details that Troubled Times, Inc. would not be considered a nonprofit based upon research. They want a list of the prior research done by the Principle Investigators, prior publicating of research results, etc. A complete unknown wanting to do scientific research would be looked upon as someone who is just trying to get away with avoiding taxes.]
Besides the provisions, previously described in this publication, to be included in the articles of organization, you should explain your literary activities fully. If your organization is established to operate a book store or engage in publishing activities of any nature (printing, publication, or distribution of your own material or that printed or published by others and distributed by you), explain fully the nature of the operations, including whether sales are or will be made to the general public, the type of literature involved, and how such activities are related to your stated purposes.
[The Troubled Times, Inc. desire to publish the content of Troubled Times web site seems to fit. The Articles also address this:
The primary mission of Troubled Time, Inc. is educational, to educate the public on the likelihood of the pending pole shift, solutions on how to deal with such a cataclysm, and life afterwards.]
Private Foundations and Public Charities
.. will be presumed to be a private foundation .. unless it gives timely notice to the Internal Revenue Service that it is not a private foundation. ... Timely Notice. If an organization is required to file the notice, it must do so within 15 months from the end of the month in which it was organized.
A private foundation is any organization described in section 501(c)(3) unless it falls into one of the categories specifically excluded from the definition of that term in section 509(a) which lists four basic categories of exclusions.
509(a)(1) .. church .. college .. hospital .. government unit ..
509(a)(2) .. to be excluded from private foundation treatment under section 509(a)(2), an organization must meet two support tests: 1) the one-third support test and 2) the not-more-than-one-third support tests. ... The one-third support test will be met if an organization normally receives more than one-third of its support in each tax year from any combination of 1) Gifts, grants, contributions, or membership fees, and 2) Gross receipts from admissions, sales of merchandise, performance of services .. The not-more-than-one-third support test will be met if an organization normally receives no more than one-third of its support in each tax year from the sum of 1) Gross investment income, and 2) The excess (if any) of unrelated business taxable income over the tax imposed on income from unrelated trades or businesses .. A newly created organization may need several years to establish its normal source of support. Organizations generally are allowed a five-year period to establish that they meet the section 509(a)(2) support test. This is referred to as the advance ruling period. ... Some pertinent factors considered are:
1) Whether the organization has or will have a governing body that is composed of persons having special knowledge in the particular field in which the organization is operating .. or in the case of a membership organization, the individuals elected under the organizations governing instument or bylaws by a broadly based membership.
2) Whether a substantial portion of the organizations initial funding is to be provided by the general public ..
4) Whether an organization that carries on fund-raising activities has developed a concrete plan for solicitation of funds on a community or area-wide basis.
5) Whether an organization that carries on community service activities has a concrete program to carry out its work in the community.
6) Whether membership dues .. has been fixed at rates designed ot make membership available to a broad cross section of the public rather than to restrict membership to a limited number of persons.
7) Whether an organization that provides goods, services, or facilities .. to the general public .. rather than to a limited number of persons or organizations.
509(a)(3) ... describes organizations that have established certain relationships in support of 509(a)(1) or (2) organizations.
509(a)(4) .. those organizations that qualify under 509(a)(3) as organized and operated for the purpose of testing products for public safety.
[Troubled Times, inc. does not want to be a private foundation as then they would be required to get rid of all their funds at the end of each year. To be considered a public charity one must fit into one of the four 509(a) categories above. Were not 509(a)(4) as we dont test for public safety in the strict interpretation of that rule. Were not 509(a)(3) as were not looking to support other organizations. Were not 509(a)(1) as were not a hospital, church, etc. Thus, we must fit 509(a)(3). We must receive 1/3 of our support from a broad base of contributions, gifts, grants, none of which is more than 2% of the whole. This 1/3 can be reduced to 1/10 if we can demonstrate that wereactively applying and soliciting. This means that if Troubled Times, Inc. receives a grant for $1,000,000, it had better have a solicitation program in place that has already gotten $100,000, or it cant accept the whole million dollars! $100,000 composed of gifts or grants not more than $20,000 from any one source (2%). Sales dollars do not count in this 1/3 or 1/10, so it cant be filled by charging $1 per booklet or $20 per video, etc. Troubled Times, Inc. will have no problem meeting the second half of this rule, that more than 1/3 of our income should not come from a portfolio or profit making enterprises. Note there can be a 5 year IRS evaluation period.]