Skip to Main Content

Tax Resources: UNF Exempt Status

As explained in IRS Publication 557 - Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization, every organization qualifying for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status is a private foundation unless it falls into one of the categories specifically excluded from the definition of that term. UNF is a public charity rather than a private foundation as it meets the IRC Section 509(a) definition of a publicly supported educational organization that receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or from the general public. UNF provides an essential public/governmental function under IRC Sec. 115.


UNF is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 115, which excludes from taxation income derived from the exercise of any essential government function and accruing to a state or any political subdivision thereof.? As such, UNF is exempt from most sales, use, and telecommunication taxes.


UNF is exempt from the following telecommunication taxes:

  • Federal Excise Tax
  • State Sales Tax - which is also referred to as Florida Communication Service Taxes
  • County Sur-Tax(es)

UNF should provide a copy of its Florida Certificate of Exemption to the telecommunication provider and review telephone bills to ensure these taxes are not charged to the university.


Under no circumstances should the Consumer's Certificate of Exemption be used for personal benefit to any individual. This exemption applies only for purchases made by the University, using the University's funds.