Nonprofit Law Matters

Tag Archives: 501(c)(3)

Independent Sector Webinar, April 19, on Charities and Elections

Posted in Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities

Independent Sector, a leading national organization of nonprofits, will host a webinar on Tuesday, April 19, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time (11:00 a.m. Pacific) on the topic “How 501(c)(3)s Can Engage with Candidates and Voters.” On the panel, our own Greg Colvin will cover the basic do’s and don’ts, and describe nonpartisan ways that charities can… Continue Reading

Proposition C Impacts Nonprofit Organizations Lobbying in San Francisco

Posted in Nonprofit Governance & Ethics, Public Charities, Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities, Unions, Associations, Clubs & Other Tax-Exempt Organizations

The City and County of San Francisco’s lobbying ordinance (Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code §§2.100-155) currently requires any person influencing local legislative or administrative actions through contacts with city officials or their staff to register with the Ethics Commission, but the ordinance provides an exemption for certain nonprofits (all 501(c)(3)s and some smaller 501(c)(4)s). The… Continue Reading

IRS Commissioner Hints at Timing for New Political Regulations, Summarizes Thousands of Public Comments

Posted in AG, IRS, FTB, & Property Tax Proceedings, Private Foundations, Public Charities, Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities, Unions, Associations, Clubs & Other Tax-Exempt Organizations

We looked at IRS Commissioner John Koskinen’s written statement to the Senate Finance Committee, with attached documents, submitted with his testimony on Tuesday, October 27, at http://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/27OCT2015Koskinen.pdf. Here’s what’s newsworthy: First, from the Commissioner’s oral testimony and from his prepared statement, the IRS and Treasury have not been intimidated by Republican calls to discontinue the… Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Oversight Subcommittee Hearing on IRS and Political Tax Law

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

I had the honor of testifying in Washington, D.C., on July 29, 2015, before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, chaired by Senator Ted Cruz, about the current IRS work on developing regulations to define political campaign activity for tax-exempts.  (The picture below shows us, the witnesses, being… Continue Reading

IRS FY 2014 Data Book Reveals Dramatic Increase in Exempt Organization Approvals

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

Last week the Internal Revenue Service released its Fiscal Year 2014 Data Book, reporting on IRS operations, enforcement, revenue collection and related activities during the period of October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014, (the IRS fiscal year).  The Data Book included a table on “Closures of Applications for Tax-Exempt Status, by Organization Type and… Continue Reading

Do’s & Don’ts: Public Charities in an Election Year

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

You’re a public charity.  Maybe you’re brand new; or maybe you’ve existed for years but suddenly have an issue your constituents need to know about on the ballot this year.  Maybe one of your Board members is a candidate for elective office.  Maybe you’d like to host a debate.  Maybe you want to register your… Continue Reading

Top 25 Comments on IRS Proposed Political Activity Rules: #16 — Some Religious Perspectives

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

Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability “While the Treasury and the IRS seek greater clarity by further restricting the types of permissible political activity of tax-exempt organizations, the Commission [on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations] would achieve greater clarity by allowing more freedom for tax-exempt organizations to engage in political speech—while simultaneously preserving the long-held… Continue Reading

Call to Participate in Survey Conducted by CalNonprofits

Posted in Private Foundations, Public Charities

The California Association of Nonprofits (doing business as CalNonprofits) is conducting a study of the economic and social impact of California’s nonprofit 501(c)(3) sector.  CalNonprofit’s CEO, Jan Masaoka, is asking charities to participate by taking a survey.  While our firm is not involved with the study, it seems a worthwhile effort.  Jan’s message, reprinted here, has… Continue Reading

A Bad Week for the IRS: Improper Scrutiny of Organizations Applying for Tax-Exempt Recognition

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

Five of our attorneys, Rob Wexler, Ingrid Mittermaier, Susan Dawson, and the two of us, were in the audience at the American Bar Association Exempt Organizations Committee meeting in Washington, D.C., on May 10. We heard the remarks from Lois Lerner, head of Exempt Organizations at the IRS, apologizing for how the exemption applications of… Continue Reading

Automatic Excess Benefit Transactions

Posted in IRS, FTB & Attorney General Controversies, Nonprofit Governance & Ethics, Public Charities

Did you know that if a 501(c)(3) public charity or a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization fails to properly substantiate payments that it makes to its insiders as either compensation or reimbursement, those payments may be subject to significant excise taxes?  Under Internal Revenue Code Section 4958, the IRS may impose intermediate sanctions on any “excess… Continue Reading