Nonprofit Law Matters

Eric K. Gorovitz

Posts by Eric K. Gorovitz

System Outages Cause Delays for Filing Form 8976; IRS Offers to Help Affected Organizations

Posted in AG, IRS, FTB, & Property Tax Proceedings, Formation & Tax Exempt Status, IRS, Nonprofit Governance & Ethics, Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities, Uncategorized

The initial deadline for new self-declared 501(c)(4) organizations to notify the IRS of their existence was September 6.  However, system outages on that day, and since, caused delays that may have prevented organizations from filing on time. The IRS released a statement today promising to “work with you to ensure that you are not subjected… Continue Reading

Section 501(c)(4) Notice Requirement: IRS Implements New Notice System for Organizations Claiming Exemption Under Section 501(c)(4), Announces Updated Compliance Deadlines

Posted in AG, IRS, FTB, & Property Tax Proceedings, Formation & Tax Exempt Status, IRS, Nonprofit Structures, Relationships & Transactions, Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities

The IRS has finally caught up with Congress with respect to the new notice requirement for new organizations claiming exemption under Section 501(c)(4).  Narrowly (?) missing its self-imposed July 1 deadline for implementing this requirement, the IRS last week released new temporary (and proposed) regulations, a Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc. 2016-41) explaining the notification system,… Continue Reading

IRS to Roll Out New Section 501(c)(4) Notice System on July 1?

Posted in AG, IRS, FTB, & Property Tax Proceedings, Formation & Tax Exempt Status, IRS, Nonprofit Structures, Relationships & Transactions, Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities

A while back, we blogged about a new notification requirement for organizations claiming exemption under Section 501(c)(4) imposed by Congress’s adoption last December of the PATH Act of 2015.  The Path Act created a new section of the Internal Revenue Code, Section 506, which requires new and certain existing (see below) Section 501(c)(4) organizations to… Continue Reading

New Law Eases Dissolution of Inactive California Nonprofit Corporations.

Posted in AG, IRS, FTB, & Property Tax Proceedings, Formation & Tax Exempt Status, IRS, FTB & Attorney General Controversies, Nonprofit Governance & Ethics

California’s nonprofit sector is vibrant and lively.  Nonprofit entrepreneurs form new entities in California every day, with great hopes for garnering support and tackling society’s pressing problems or serving constituencies with specialized needs. Nonetheless, despite good ideas and best intentions, sometimes things just don’t work out as planned.  When that happens, nonprofit founders are stuck… Continue Reading

A Smart Pitch for Nonprofit Advocacy

Posted in Grantmaking & Social Investing, Private Foundations, Public Charities, Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities

Campion Foundation Trustee Sonya Campion recently made an intelligent pitch for private foundation directors, and their institutions, to arm themselves with knowledge about the rules governing advocacy by foundations and their grantees, and to use the powerful tools that the tax code provides for funding change.  We couldn’t agree more! Want to get started?  These free… Continue Reading

Exempt Organizations Can Redact Donor-Identifying Information From IRS Form 990, Schedule B Before Public Disclosure

Posted in Private Foundations, Public Charities, Unions, Associations, Clubs & Other Tax-Exempt Organizations

Last week, a political-spending watchdog group sent a potentially misleading written request to many exempt organizations (they say over 100) involved in political activities, seeking copies of Form 990, Schedule B for past tax years, including filings that are more than three years old. The request does not explicitly acknowledge the exempt organizations’ right to… Continue Reading

Hundreds of Thousands of Nonprofits Affected by Security Breach Related to Electronic Filings

Posted in Formation & Tax Exempt Status, IRS, FTB & Attorney General Controversies, Public Charities

The Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics (“NCCS”) reported this week that hackers tapped into its online filing system for Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, and 8868 (Application for Extension), as well as state filings for Hawaii, Michigan, and New York.  According to the report, information including e-mail addresses, usernames, passwords, individual names, and IP… Continue Reading

IRS Debuts Streamlined Form 1023-EZ Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3)

Posted in Formation & Tax Exempt Status, Public Charities

In hopes of reducing the long backlog of exemption applications and ostensibly freeing up resources for more robust enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service released on Tuesday a new short-form tax exemption application, Form 1023-EZ, for certain small charities.  The release also includes instructions for completing the form. To be eligible to use the new form,… Continue Reading

Proposed San Francisco Ordinance Would Impose Significant New Disclosure Obligations on Nonprofits That Interact with City Officials

Posted in Private Foundations, Public Charities, Unions, Associations, Clubs & Other Tax-Exempt Organizations

A recent proposal by San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu would impose significant new disclosure obligations on nonprofits that have business with the City and County of San Francisco.  Apparently intended to target communications and expenditures made by or on behalf of certain developers seeking to influence public officials, the proposal in its… Continue Reading

Senate Confirmation Votes Are “Specific Legislation,” so Know Your Lobbying Rules!

Posted in Public Charities, Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities

President Obama’s nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy, a highly regarded physician and serial entrepreneur, to be Surgeon General of the United States has become a hot topic in political circles.  Dr. Murthy has been endorsed by prestigious voices in the medical establishment, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, and mainstream media such as… Continue Reading

Comments Due Tomorrow on 501(c)(4) Political Activity Proposed Regulations

Posted in Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities, Unions, Associations, Clubs & Other Tax-Exempt Organizations

You may have heard that the IRS recently issued draft regulations that would drastically change how it defines and treats political activity of 501(c)(4) organizations. The deadline for submitting comments on the draft regulations is tomorrow, February 27.  Here are two easy options for adding your voice to the discussion: Draft and submit your own comments,… Continue Reading

Just Released Proposed 501(c)(4) Regulations: A Good Start, But Rough . . .

Posted in Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities, Unions, Associations, Clubs & Other Tax-Exempt Organizations

The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service released proposed regulations purporting to address the recent controversy over political activity conducted by and through organizations exempt under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, which are not required to disclose their donors publicly.  We’ll have more to say soon, but after an initial quick reading,… Continue Reading

IRS Recognizes Exemption for Nonprofit Community Newspaper

Posted in AG, IRS, FTB, & Property Tax Proceedings, Formation & Tax Exempt Status, Public Charities, Revenue Generating Activities

In recent years, the dramatic expansion of digital news content, and the redirection of advertising dollars away from print, has caused an equally dramatic decline in the viability of print journalism.  At the same time, the IRS has demonstrated increased skepticism about whether journalism is charitable, given the historically commercial aspect of news publication. One… Continue Reading

Private Foundations and Many Charities Can Pull Out All the Stops to Protect the Charitable Contribution Deduction Using the “Self-Defense” Exception in the IRS Lobbying Rules

Posted in Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities

The debate in Congress over the “fiscal cliff” has the nonprofit sector worried for lots of reasons.  A big one  is the proposal to raise revenue by reducing, capping, or modifying the charitable contribution deduction, which is vital to most charities’ fundraising prospects. Fortunately, federal tax law lets many charities and all private foundations pull out… Continue Reading

In Honor of National Public Health Week: Advocacy and Lobbying of Public Health Organizations After Section 503 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (HR 2055)

Posted in Public Charities, Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities

It’s National Public Health Week, which has us thinking about the good works of our many 501(c)(3) clients who, in one way or another, work to alleviate public health concerns.  We spend lots of time helping these organizations use the opportunities that the tax code provides to maximize the reach and impact of their advocacy,… Continue Reading