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.
Many health care and medical education institutions have claims pending with the IRS for refunds of the FICA (Social Security and Medicare) tax paid on wages for employed medical residents. The issue for these claims is whether the residents are “students,” and their wages accordingly exempt from FICA tax, for purposes of the student FICA exception in the Internal Revenue Code.
Last summer, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that this regulation was valid in the Mayo Foundation for Medical Research and Education and the University of Minnesota cases. These institutions petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari. Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court granted the certiorari petition and will hear the appeal.
We tweeted live from the Georgetown Conference that occurred on April 22-23, 2010. Our tweets highlight IRS next steps and agenda items, as well as discuss other topics of interest to exempt organizations.
On March 18, 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court denied property tax exemption to a not-for-profit hospital in the nationally watched Provena case. The plurality’s reasoning has implications for many nonprofits beyond hospitals.
The IRS has announced that it plans to honor certain medical resident FICA refund claims for periods before April 1, 2005, when new IRS regulations went into effect. The IRS’s brief announcement does not indicate the terms on which claims will be paid. Still, the IRS notes that verification of the claim amount will be required and interest will be paid.
Section 9007 of the health reform bill passed by the Senate on December 24, 2009 contains specific requirements for Section 501(c)(3) hospitals wishing to retain their tax exemption. This development is of interest to all exempt organizations, not just hospitals, because it is another example of Congressional action imposing specific standards on particular types of exempt organizations.