VSP, a not-for-profit corporation that offers eye-care insurance as an employee benefit, was classified as tax-exempt until the Internal Revenue Service revoked that status in 2003. The California company claims that its charity programs funded by surplus revenues, including one that gives glasses to disadvantaged children, qualify it for tax-exempt status. But the IRS, backed by a district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, disagreed. In an opinion in January, the 9th Circuit found that the charitable programs were not enough to convert VSP into a company “primarily engaged in promoting the common good and general welfare of the community.”
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