The Internal Revenue Service launched a new Web-based information tool that will help private foundations comply with federal tax rules and requirements that occur throughout the lifecycle of their organization.

The Life Cycle of a Private Foundation section of provides a snapshot of five stages, including starting the organization, applying for tax-exempt status, filing requirements, maintaining compliance and terminating the organization. The new tool is similar to the Life Cycle of a Public Charity that has proved popular since being introduced in 2004.

"We expect this new lifecycle of private foundations to be as well-received and as valuable an information and assistance tool as our pilot site for public charities," said thedirector of the agency's Exempt Organizations Division, Martha Sullivan, in a statement.

The new site provides easy navigation through the lifecycle of general topics and gathers together forms and explanations for an array of issues, such as how to acquire an Employer Identification Number; how to avoid jeopardizing the foundation's exemption; how political activities involvement may affect the foundation's status; and how disclosure requirements must be met.

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