We have been closely following the medical resident FICA refund issue. As we noted in our blog entry in March on the topic, the IRS conceded that refund claims for FICA taxes for medical residents for the periods before April 1, 2005 will be paid. The IRS has now announced this month that it has begun sending letters to individual medical residents who filed individual claims for FICA refunds. These letters ask the individuals to submit copies of their claims.
Earlier this month, the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel interviewed Scott Harshbarger, Chair of Proskauer’s Pro Bono Initiative Committee, and Stacey O’Haire Fahey, Pro Bono Counsel at Proskauer, about the Pro Bono Initiative at Proskauer. Harshbarger and Fahey are also members of the Firm’s Not-for-Profit/Exempt Organizations group.
In addition to the many pro bono matters, including asylum, adoption, and advocacy projects, on which the Pro Bono Initiative works, the Initiative also represents all kinds of not-for-profit and exempt organizations (including community organizations and start-ups) that meet the financial criteria for pro bono services.
Charities and other exempt organizations that engage in cross-border charitable giving often conduct extensive due diligence before giving funds to international grantees. If these charities are unaware of how the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act can affect their grantmaking and other activities abroad, they should become aware very quickly. In fact, the FCPA is a real risk for U.S. exempt organizations that are operating globally and face pressures to make corrupt payments in order to obtain government support abroad.
On August 11, 2010, the commencement of the observance of Ramadan, a charity alert was issued by the United States Treasury Department. Treasury acknowledged the importance of charitable giving during the month-long observance and used this opportunity to express concern about possible exploitation of all charities by terrorist organizations. The alert outlines steps for charities and donors to take in order to “guard against terrorist abuse.”