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UNC Chapel Hill foundation claims exemption from public records law as non-profit, and exemption from IRS filings as government affiliate 

The Daily Tar Heel: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Foundation declined to fulfill a public records request claiming it was not subject to the public records law because it is a non-profit organization and not a government agency. The foundation has not filed a Form 990 financial disclosure since 2008 because it claims to be exempt from the Internal Revenue Service's reporting rules as a government affiliated non-profit. 

The Daily Tar Heel reports that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Foundation has not filed a Form 990 financial disclosure with the Internal Revenue Service since 2008. The university has several non-profit organizations that receive and manage most of the private donations that people give to the university. The last time the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Foundation Investment Fund filed a 990, which was 2008, it reported assets of $2.2 billion. The last time the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Foundation filed a 990, which was 2007, it reported assets of $254 million

A university spokesman told the student newspaper that the foundations were exempt from filing the 990 under IRS Rule 95-48 as an affiliate of a governmental unit. Most nonprofits must file the financial disclosure form and make it publicly available. 

When the newspaper filed a public records request for financial information from the foundations, the request was denied. The university spokesman said that the foundations are exempt from the public records law since they are non-profit corporations and not government agencies. 

Some of the university's affiliate foundations have been filing the required IRS disclosures. For example the UNC at Chapel Hill School of Nursing Foundation filed a report in 2014, while the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Foundation of North Carolina and the UNC School of Law each filed reports in 2013. 

Read The Daily Tar Heel's coverage here

Jonathan Jones,
Staff
2/20/2015 2:50 PM