tax exemption, immunity from the requirement of paying taxes. Federal, state, and usually local law provide exemption from taxation for a wide variety of organizations, usually not-for-profit, such as churches, colleges, universities, health care providers, various charities, civic leagues, labor unions, trade associations, social clubs, and political organizations. Such policies date back to 1894, when the U.S. Congress passed income tax laws that provided exemptions for certain institutions.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.