The IRS released its Final Report on its five year study of the audit results of colleges and universities. Lois G. Lerner, Director of the Exempt Organizations division of the IRS announced the “long awaited” posting of the report. In 2008, the IRS sent a 33 page questionnaire to 400 randomly selected colleges and universities. In 2010,… Continue Reading
Correction of Plan Errors Final Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b) regulations which became effective January 1, 2009 require that plan sponsors adopt written 403(b) Plan documents. A 403(b) Plan is a form of defined contribution retirement plan that may only be offered by employers that are tax-exempt entities under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue… Continue Reading
IRS Exempt Organizations group has sent out more than 1,300 questionnaires to self-declared Section 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations; 501(c)(5) labor, agricultural or horticultural organizations; or 501(c)(6) business leagues. The questionnaires are part of IRS efforts to increase voluntary compliance, learn more about self-declared exempt organizations, and determine whether self-declared exempt organizations are complying with applicable tax-exempt… Continue Reading
At the end of January, 2013, the IRS Exempt Organizations Group (“EO”) released its annual report, highlighting EO’s 2012 accomplishments and outlining its priorities for 2013. This year’s report was significantly more detailed and informative than last year’s report and workplan. Some accomplishments and priorities of interest are described below, with something for nearly everyone… Continue Reading
The IRS continues to implement the “three years and you’re out” rule for Form 990 non-filers added by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (the “PPA”). That legislation amended Section 6033 of the Internal Revenue Code to provide that exempt organizations required to file a Form 990-series return (i.e., a Form 990, Form 990-EZ or… Continue Reading
Many practitioners have been anxious to leaf through regulations to confidently determine whether an organization is a “functionally integrated” or “non-functionally integrated” Type III supporting organization, and the implications of either classification. On December 28, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service released the long-awaited final regulations for Type III supporting organizations, as well as temporary regulations… Continue Reading
The IRS and Treasury Department have released their annual Priority Guidance Plan (the “Plan”) for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. The 35-page Plan is available here and includes thirteen projects directly related to Exempt Organizations. At least five other projects, such as final regulations under Section 170 regarding charitable contributions and guidance on Section 403(b) plans,… Continue Reading
The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has extended the filing date to February 1, 2013 for an eligible exempt organization affected by Hurricane Sandy that previously had its exempt status revoked and is now applying for the reinstatement of its status. As we have said in this blog entry, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 added… Continue Reading
In response to the severe damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, the IRS has issued several news releases that provide guidance to charitable organizations, employers, and individuals who want to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. Qualified Disaster Relief Payments The IRS has released IR-2012-84 to alert employers and others to the favorable tax treatment of… Continue Reading
The IRS recently issued proposed regulations amending the rules applicable to a private foundation’s good faith determination that that a foreign grantee is the foreign equivalent of a public charity or private operating foundation, grants to which will be “qualifying distributions” and not “taxable expenditures.” Most significantly, the proposed regulations expand the class of practitioners… Continue Reading
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(4) organizations are defined by the Internal Revenue Code as “social welfare organizations.” Treas. Reg. section 1.501(c)(4)-1(a)(2) provides that the organization must be “primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community.” Some members of Congress and the IRS have recently taken an… Continue Reading
On July 31, 2012, the IRS issued Notice 2012-52 (the “Notice”), providing long awaited confirmation that a charitable contribution to a limited liability company that is wholly owned by a charitable organization, and classified as a disregarded entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes (an “SMLLC”), will be treated as a contribution to a branch… Continue Reading
On July 25, 2012, the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways and Means, led by Congressman Charles W. Boustany Jr., MD (R-LA), heard testimony from the IRS and experts in the tax exempt community on the growing complexity of non-profit organizational structures, tax issues concerning unrelated business income and the redesigned Form 990…. Continue Reading
As previously reported, the Treasury Department released proposed regulations on June 22, 2012 interpreting and implementing specific requirements for hospitals to maintain their Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status under Section 501(r) of the Code. Section 501(r) was enacted as part of the 2010 Health Care Reform Act (the “Act”). The proposed regulations provide guidance for the… Continue Reading
As we have previously reported, the 2010 Health Care Reform Act imposed new, specific requirements for hospitals to maintain their Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. On June 22, 2012, the Treasury Department released proposed regulations interpreting and implementing certain of these requirements. Specifically, the proposed regulations provide guidance on the following requirements of Section 501(r): required financial assistance… Continue Reading
Last week, the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (“ACT”) held a public meeting at which the panel submitted its latest round of recommendations to senior IRS executives. At the meeting, the ACT’s Exempt Organizations project team presented a report containing several recommendations intended to improve the application process for organizations seeking… Continue Reading
On May 16, 2012, the Oversight Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, led by Congressman Charles W. Boustany Jr., MD (R-LA), heard testimony from representatives of tax-exempt hospitals, universities and charitable institutions on the current state of compliance and reporting requirements for tax-exempt organizations. The hearing was the first in… Continue Reading
The IRS recently unveiled its new streamlined online search tool, Exempt Organizations Select Check (“EO Select Check”), which provides one place where taxpayers can go to find out: (1) whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions; (2) whether the organization has ever been subject to automatic revocation of its tax-exempt status for failing to file a required Form 990, Form 990-EZ or Form 990-N (aka, the “e-Postcard”) for three consecutive years; and (3) whether a small organization has filed the e-Postcard. Previously, taxpayers had to utilize three separate online search sites to find this information (the electronic version of Publication 78 (i.e., the list of exempt organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions), the online Auto-Revocation List and the e-Postcard database).
A new provision which was slipped in to the annual announcement of procedures for exempt organization determinations and letter rulings provides a way for governmental entities to voluntarily terminate their Section 501(c)(3) status. This is important for governmental hospitals that otherwise could be faced with new exemption requirements and penalties.
The IRS has granted an automatic extension for certain tax-exempt organizations to file their annual returns electronically. The extension is being provided because the IRS’s electronic filing system (the “Modernized eFile system” or “MeF”) will not be available for filing Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, and 1120-POL from January 1, 2012 through February 29, 2012 (the “Suspension Period”). The extension is only available for organizations with filing due dates (whether original or extended) during the Suspension Period (“Affected Organizations”). Ordinarily, organizations with a fiscal year ending August 31 or September 30 would have filing deadlines during the Suspension Period. Under Notice 2012-4, Affected Organizations will automatically be granted an extension of time to file electronically to March 30, 2012.
The IRS presents webinars on a variety of subjects. In August, the IRS presented a webinar conducted by two IRS representatives on the special rules affecting charities that make grants to foreign organizations or engage in activities in foreign countries.
Treasury just released the 2011–2012 Priority Guidance Plan. The Plan lists 317 projects that are priorities for Treasury resources through June 2012. Included in these projects are 13 projects directly related to Exempt Organizations. Many of the other projects such as the 66 employee benefits, executive compensation and employment taxes may affect Exempt Organizations.
The IRS released a new form last week for tax-exempt organizations to request determinations about their tax-exempt status (other than an initial application for exemption). There was previously no form for making such requests.
The IRS recently released a new list of FAQ and tips for Part VI of Form 990, which requires an exempt organization to provide certain information about its governing board and management, as well as its governance policies and disclosure practices. Of particular interest is the clarification that questions in Section B (about whether… Continue Reading