Proskauer’s 18th Annual Trick or Treat Seminar was held on Thursday, October 31.

The Seminar discussed:

  • Statutory Authority of New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau
  • Proposed Revisions to New York’s’ Not-for-Profit Corporation Law
  • Impact of United States v. Windsor on Health Insurance and Retirement Plans and Key Provisions of the Affordable Care Act

In her introductory remarks, Amanda Nussbaum provided a summary of recent Internal Revenue Service developments and introduced the presenters.

Here are some take-away points from each presentation:

Statutory Authority of New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau

Dietrich Snell summarized the sweeping statutory authority of the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau with respect to not-for-profit entities, pursuant to the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law; the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law; and the Executive Law.  In particular, he highlighted the New York Attorney General’s role in: reviewing significant transactions by not-for-profits; enforcing restrictions on charitable donations; and – in extreme circumstances – seeking appointment of a receiver.  Mr. Snell also described the Charities Bureau’s administration of filing requirements pertaining to not-for-profits, and the Bureau’s maintenance of a registry with respect to charitable fundraising and solicitation.  Finally, the presentation emphasized the breadth of the New York Attorney General’s power to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute cases of wrongdoing on the part of directors and officers.

Proposed Revisions to New York’s’ Not-for-Profit Corporation Law

Herschel Goldfield described some of the important proposed revisions to New York’s Not-for-Profit Corporation Law in the Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013 (the “Revitalization Act”).  He noted that many of the changes would increase reporting to and the authority of the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, while other changes would simplify some of the provisions that practitioners often find cumbersome in the law.  Mr. Goldfield highlighted that under the Revitalization Act many approvals that presently must be obtained from the New York Supreme Court could be provided instead by the Attorney General.  In addition, he noted that the changes would also make clear the governance steps needed in order to approve transactions involving persons that have a possible conflict of interest.  To date, while the Revitalization Act has passed the legislature, it has not been forwarded to the Governor for signature.

Impact of United States v. Windsor on Health Insurance and Retirement Plans and Key Provisions of the Affordable Care Act

Peter Marathas reviewed the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___ (2013) (Docket No. 12-307), which struck down on constitutional grounds a key provision of the Defense Of Marriage Act (“DOMA”).  Mr. Marathas reviewed some important elements of the Windsor decision and the impact of those elements on health insurance and retirement plans.  With the repeal of part of DOMA, employers should review their plans to determine whether they are implementing state and federal law requirements correctly and are following the Internal Revenue Service’s “Rule of Celebration” to determine an employee’s marital status.  Mr. Marathas also reviewed key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (“Act”).  He reminded those attending that many of the Act’s requirements are already in effect.  He also highlighted some strategic decisions employers may want to consider implementing in 2014 in light of the delay of the Act’s “play or pay” requirements until 2015.  Mr. Marathas reminded employers that implementation of the Act is complex and care should be taking in working with vendors who demonstrate their ability to assist with the many complex reporting, recordkeeping and other requirements.  He highlighted that working closely with knowledgeable counsel and other advisors is essential.  For additional information on the Affordable Care Act visit our Healthcare Reform Task force page at http://www.proskauer.com/practices/health-reform-task-force/.