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October 2013 Archives

501(c)(2) Title-Holding Companies

Blake L. Greco:  Tax-exempt organizations may form subsidiary corporations called "title-holding companies" to own real property held by the organization. By forming the title-holding company and transferring the real property to it, as is commonly done by private entities, the tax-exempt organization can separate any potential liability related to the ownership of the real property from the assets and operation of the tax-exempt parent organization. The title-holding subsidiary would then own, maintain and operate the real property. Although it is a separate entity, Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(2) preserves for the title-holding company the tax-free nature of the tax-exempt organization so that the income from the property remains tax-free; provided, however, that all of the requirements of 501(c)(2) are met. The primary requirement is that all income flows through to the parent organization. One can obtain 501(c)(2) status by filing an IRS Form 1024 application for approval by the IRS. In summary, title-holding companies can be very beneficial to tax-exempt organizations by separating the potential liability inherent in land ownership from the tax-exempt parent organization while preserving the ability to receive tax-free income from the property.

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