Exempt Org. Resource Blog

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ExemptOrgResource.com is an online resource for information and insight on the unique legal issues impacting nonprofit organizations. The blog is designed to keep the nonprofit, tax-exempt organization community up-to-date on legal developments, changing regulations and good practices.

Senate Passes Tax Reform Bill

On November 16, the House of Representatives passed an amended version of H.R. 1, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” by a vote of 227-205 (the “House Bill”). On November 20, 2017, the Senate Finance Committee released the Senate’s proposal for its own version of the bill (the “Senate Proposal”). Our previous alert discussed the impact on tax-exempt organizations of certain provisions of the House Bill and Senate Proposal.

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New York Will Require Certain 501(c)(3) Organizations to Publicly Disclose Donors

Bill No. A. 10742/S. 8160, introduced during the final hours of the spring legislative session and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, requires 501(c)(3) organizations to publicly disclose the identities of certain donors if those 501(c)(3) organizations make donations to 501(c)(4) organizations engaged in significant lobbying in New York.  These new disclosure requirements will take effect on November 22, 2016.

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Court Dismisses Challenge to New York Donor Disclosure Requirement

On August 29, 2016, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed in its entirety a complaint against the New York Attorney General filed by Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation, challenging the Attorney General’s policy of requiring charities to disclose the names, addresses, and total contributions of their donors in connection with registration to solicit funds in New York.  

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NPRA Redux: Proposed NPCL Amendments Approved by Senate and Assembly

The New York State Assembly and Senate have passed a bill which, if signed by the Governor, would amend the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (the “NPCL”) and the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (the “EPTL”) to clarify and refine some of the changes to both laws effected as part of the 2013 New York Non-Profit Revitalization Act (the “NPRA”).  Bill No. A. 10365B/S. 7913 was introduced on May 24, 2016.  It passed the Assembly on June 15 and the Senate on June 16, just before the end of the legislative session, and should be delivered to the Governor sometime in the next several months.  

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Form 990-N Filing Changes

The IRS recently announced that, beginning February 29, 2016, Form 990-N (also known as the “e-Postcard”) will be filed through the IRS website rather than through the Urban Institute website.

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PATH Act 501(c)(4) Matters Update: Notification Requirement Postponed, Temporary Regulations and Additional Guidance to Follow

Since enactment of the PATH Act, exempt organizations have been waiting for IRS guidance on the new Section 501(c)(4) notification requirement and procedures for seeking IRS determination Section 501(c)(4) status.  We’re still waiting for those specifics, but, with Notice 2016-09, the IRS has taken some of the time pressure off (both for itself and the affected organizations).

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From the Hill: Recent Legislation Impacting 501(c)(4) Organizations

For a year that continued to prominently feature Section 501(c)(4) organizations – in politics, news, and public discourse and debates – it seems fitting to end 2015 with a summary of recent federal legislation that changes (or, in one case, prevents changes to) the rules applicable to Section 501(c)(4) organizations.  We anticipate that there will be more to come in 2016, so stay tuned for updates.

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Tax Reform Act of 2014 and the Charitable Deduction

Representative Dave Camp, the current chair of the House Ways and Means Committee (the “Committee”), introduced a discussion draft of the Tax Reform Act of 2014 (the “Camp Bill”) on February 26, 2014.  Although it is widely predicted that the Camp Bill will not pass, exempt organizations should still examine it closely, because it is emblematic of a new trend in legislative proposals dealing with tax reform.

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IRS Controversy & Restructuring

In the past year, the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (“TE/GE”) of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has been engulfed in controversy, resulting in sweeping changes in both its personnel and operations.  The controversy began in May 2013, when Lois Lerner, at the time the Commissioner of TE/GE, revealed at an American Bar Association (“ABA”) Tax Section conference that the IRS had used inappropriate criteria to identify and scrutinize exemption applications from organizations with certain words in their names, such as “Tea Party” and “patriot.”  

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