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2023 Private Foundation

Overview: Set up a family foundation and receive a charitable deduction up to 30% of AGI.

Do I Qualify for the Private Foundation? To qualify for tax deductions to a private foundation in 2023, donations may be cash or property, and the foundation itself must adhere to rules and requirements depending on its type. For example, donations to private operating foundations might allow tax deductions equal to 50% of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income.

2023 Private Foundation Details: A private foundation remains a non-church charitable organization that doesn't qualify as a public charity due to not filing the necessary forms.

While donations to a private foundation are tax-deductible, they are capped at 30% of a taxpayer's adjusted gross income for the year, compared to the 60% AGI restriction for monetary contributions to public charities. When donating securities or assets that have appreciated in value, this limit further drops to 20% of AGI. Contributions that exceed the allowed deduction can be carried forward for up to 5 years.

For affluent individuals, a private foundation might be more appealing than a donor-advised fund or public charity donations for several reasons. Unlike the latter options, the taxpayer retains total control over the charitable assets until distributed. Moreover, it serves as a legitimate entity capable of hiring, including family members. The taxpayer has the autonomy to decide the board composition, distribution timings and beneficiaries, and oversee the foundation's daily operations. Establishing a family foundation also brings with it the potential for public goodwill.

From an estate planning standpoint, private foundations facilitate taxpayers in transferring significant assets out of their taxable estate, all the while availing a charitable deduction. For those looking for a more advanced option, they might consider establishing certain charitable trusts that are also recognized as private foundations.

However, private donations do come with certain limitations. As per the latest regulations, private foundations must distribute a minimum of 5% of their charitable assets annually. The deduction permitted is confined to 30% of the taxpayer’s AGI for that year. Additionally, private foundations are liable to the 1.4% net investment income tax, a charge not applicable to donor-advised funds. Moreover, the taxpayer is responsible for meeting all the regulatory and compliance mandates. Some states might impose additional prerequisites if the foundation intends to seek charitable donations from the public.


  • Claim a charitable deduction in the year of the contribution to minimize taxable income.

  • Roll over excess amounts for the subsequent 5 years to counterbalance income.

  • Harmonize with other charitable strategies.

  • Taxpayers retain more authority compared to many alternative charitable strategies.

  • Typically, it enables taxpayers to exert a larger influence on particular causes and fosters public goodwill.


  • Charity deduction restricted to 30% of AGI.

  • Mandatory distribution of 5% of foundation assets every year.

  • The taxpayer is subject to more regulations and requirements.

  • Potential liability to the NIIT on investments.

Assumptions When Taking the Private Foundation:

  • The foundation qualifies as a charity.

  • Donations will be predominantly in cash.

Requirements to Claim the Private Foundation:

  • Establishment of a board of directors.

  • Compulsory distribution of a minimum of 5% of charitable assets each taxable year.

  • All expenses and outlays should promote the declared charitable objective.

  • Implementation of specific rules to avert self-dealing.

Conflicting Strategies: Donor-Advised Fund

Business Entities That Can Claim the Private Foundation: Individual

Conclusion: In 2023, the Private Foundation remains a viable option for individuals looking for tax benefits and greater control over their charitable contributions. While it offers substantial advantages, such as deductions and the opportunity to make a significant societal impact, potential donors must also be prepared for the rigorous regulatory requirements and potential limitations on deductions. It's crucial for individuals to weigh the benefits against the considerations, ensuring they align with their long-term charitable and financial goals.

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