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The 2017 Nonprofit Counsel Summaries

January 2017

  • Country-by-Country Reporting and Tax-Exempt Organizations

  • Asset Sale Proceeds, Rents, and Royalties Ruled Not UBI; Subsidiary's Activities of Expanding Public Charity Ruled Not Attributable [PLR 201644019]

  • Challenge to Constitutionally of Ministers' Rental Allowance Exclusion Allowed to Proceed [Gaylor and Freedom From Religion Foundation v. United States]

  • Supporting Organization's Excess Holdings Ruled Exempt From Taxation [PLR 201645011]

  • New Partnership Audit Regime and Tax-Exempt Organizations

  • Deduction for Facade Easement Denied on Basis of 2006 Law Change [Partita Partners, LLC v. United States]

  • Commerciality Defeats Exempt Coffee Shop, Even a Religious One [PLR 201645017]

  • Arts Organization Fails to Gain Exemption Due to Promotional Efforts for Its Artistic Director [PLR 201643026]

  • Classic Case of Exemption Classification: (3), (4), or (5)? [PLR 201646007]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201643025, 201644021, 201645019]

  • Organizations Discriminated Against In Application Processing Seeking Bivens Remedy 

    [True the Vote, Inc. v. Lerner]


February 2017

  • State Schedule B Disclosure Requirement Held Unconstitutional in As-Applied Challenge [Thomas More Law Center v. Harris]

  • Proposed Fractions Rule Regulation Issued [REG-136978-12]

  • Historic Preservation Can Be Exempt Function; However ... [PLR 201648020]

  • Report: Minimize Distinction Between Hospital Community Benefit and Building

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201647008, 201648019, 201649015]

March 2017​

  • Syndicated Conservation Easement Gifts Identified as Listed Transactions [Notice 2017-10]

  • $64.5 Million Charitable Donation Lost for Lack of Substantiation [15 West 17th Street, LLC v. Commissioner]

  • Court Rejects IRS's Lack-of-Donative Intent Argument [McGrady v. Commissioner]

  • IRS: No Charitable Deduction for Trust Because Distribution Not Made Pursuant to Governing Instrument [Brownstone v. US (2nd Cir. 2006)]

  • Ruling Re: Standard Foundation Grants to Private Operating Foundation Contains Major Flaw [PLR 201652004]

  • Foundation's Technical Advice Program Ruled Related Business [PLR 201701002]

  • One Individual Does Not a Charitable Class Make [PLRs 201651016, 201652029, 201701021]

  • Other Recent Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201649017, 201652001, 201652028, 201652030, 201701020, 201701022]

  • IRS Issues Procedural Rules for 2017 [Rev. Proc. 2017-1, 2017-2, 2017-3, 2017-4,2017-5]


April 2017

  • Interpreting the Regulatory Freeze and "Two-For-One" Orders 

  • Foundation Created by Television Icon Satisfies Exceptions to Regulatory Rules [PLR 201703003]

  • Rare Event: IRS Ruling That Leasing Is Exempt Function [PLRs 201702002, 201703005]                                                                               

  • Taxpayer Advocate Complains Again About Form 1023-EZ Process

  • IRS Releases Updated Form 990-EZ

  • Charitable Fundraising and the Commerciality Doctrine Clash Again [PLRs 201702041, 201702042]

  • Confusing VEBAs With ...? [PLRs 201703014, 201704018]

  • Nonexempt Business League Corner  [PLR 201706018]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201702048, 201702040, 201704020, 201706022, 201706019, 201706020, 201704021]

  • JCT Staff Issues Report on 2016-2020 Tax Expenditures [JCX-3-17


May 2017

  • President Orders Enforcement of Regulatory Reform Agenda

  • Tax Court Dismisses Valuation Expert's Reports Due to Conflict of Interest [Estate of Kollsman v. Commissioner]

  • Donor Denied Deduction For Airplane Interest Gift Because of Lack of Substantiation [Izen, Jr. v. Commissioner]

  • Coffee Shop Ruled Related Business, Gift Shop Held Functionally Related Business [PLR 201710005]

  • Benefits Plan Failed to Qualify as Social Welfare Organization But Ruled "Exempt" as Quasi-Governmental Entity [PLR 201710034]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings: [PLRs 201710033, 201710036, 20171014]

  • New UBI Data Published

  • In Bargain Sales, Whither Basis?  [PLR 201709001]

  • Form 1023-EZ Information Now Online

  • Status of American Health Care Act


June 2017

  • President Signs Executive Order for Review of Tax Regulations

  • What Is Going on With Church Audits? [Bible Study Time, Inc. v. United States]

  • Tangled Webs Woven With CRT [PLR 201714002]

  • Refreshing PLR Marred by Four Errors [PLR 201714031]

  • Organizational Test Corner [PLRs 201715004, 201716048, 201716052]

  • Informative, Strange [PLR 201712017]

  • No Line of Business Represented, No Exempt Business League [PLR 201715003]

  • Deer Herd Loss Mitigation Not Agricultural Activity [PLR 201716049]

  • Promises To Not Charitably Deduct [PLR 201713002]

  • Other Recent Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201712014, 201714030]

  • Court to Rule on Whether Activity, Where Income is Offset by NOLS, Is A "Business" [Losantiville Country Club, Inc. v. United States]

  • Status of American Health Care Act

  • Tax Practitioners Offer Modernization Advice To IRS


July 2017

  • President Issues "Free Speech and Religious Liberty" Executive Order

  • Grant Ruled Qualifying Distribution; Transfers by Grantee Ruled Indirect Self-Dealing [PLRs 201719004, 200443045]

  • Private Foundation's Conduct of Program Similar to That of DP Company's

    Ruled Not Self-Dealing [PLRs 201718002, 201714031]

  • Provision of Pet Therapy Ruled Charitable Activity [PLR 201719018]

  • Private Benefit Corner [PLRs 201717048, 201708036, 201708039]

  • Nonexempt Business League Corner [PLRs 201717045, 201718040]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201717045, 201717046, 201718038, 201720001, 201720010]

  • New Private Foundations Data Issued

  • ABA Tax Section Submits Comments on Appeals Office Changes

August 2017

  • IRS Corrects Erroneous Taxable Expenditure Law Ruling [Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton; Overall v. Ascension] [PLRs 201724001, 200542037, 200604034]

  • Transfer of Disqualified Person's Note via Noncontrolled Trust to Foundation Ruled Not Self-Dealing
    [PLRs 201723005, 201723006, 201719004]

  • Private Foundation's Matching Gift Program Ruled to Not Entail Self-Dealing [PLRs 201725008, 201725009]

  • Easement Gift Ruled Nondeductible Because of Late Recording by Donee [Ten Twenty Six Investors v. Commissioner]

  • Taxable Nonprofit Organization Ruled to Be Nontaxable on Loan Proceeds Obtained as Funding Vehicle for Development of Sports Stadium [PLR 201722004]

  • Watch Out for Website Content [PLR 201721022]

  • Operator of Building Ruled Not Fraternal Beneficiary Organization [PLR 201721021]

  • Network of Business-Seeking Professionals Denied Recognition of Exemption [PLR 201721020]

  • Court Rules IRS Can't Change PTIN User Fees [Loving v. IRS; Ridgely v. Lew]

  • Other Recent Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201722029, 201725017]

  • Health Care Law Revision Bill Emerges, Fizzles in Senate


September 2017

  • Treasury/IRS Issue Final Form 1023-EZ Regulations

  • Deduction of $33 Million Lost Because of Blank Line on
    Form 8283 [RERI Holdings I, LLC v. Commissioner, Bond v. Commissioner (1993), Hewitt v. Commissioner (1997), 885 Investment Co. v. Commissioner (1980), AHG Investments, LLC v. Commissioner (2013)]

  • Third Appellate Court Upholds IRS on Mortgage Subordination Rule for Gifts of Easements [RP Golf, LLC v. Commissioner, Mitchell v. Commissioner]

  • Supreme Court: Discrimination Against Church in State Grant Effort Violation of Free Exercise Clause [Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, Locke v. Davey (2004)]

  • Charitable Deduction Denied Because of Donor's Retained Right to Transfer Gift Property to Another Charity [Fakiris v. Commissioner]

  • Organization Denied Exemption As Not Lessening Government Burdens [PLR 201726013] 

  • Organization Denied Exemption for Providing Services to Members [PLR 201726014]

  • Issue Advocacy/Political Activitiy Test Held Constitutional [Freedom Path, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service]

  • Case Study on How Not To Go About Deductible Giving [Ohde v. Commissioner]

  • Set-Aside Corner [PLR 201727009, 201727010, 201728024]

  • IRS Examining Co-Pay Assistance Charity, Looking for Undue Private Benefit [Chronic Disease Fund, Inc. v. US (D.N.J.)]


October 2017

  • Appeals Court Reverses Tax Court in Conservation Easement Case [BC Ranch II, LP v. Commissioner]

  • Tax Court Uses Merger Clause to Find Adequate Substantiation [310 Retail, LLC v. Commissioner]

  • Exempt Club Held Liable for UBI Tax on Investment Income; Offsetting Losses Disallowed [Losantiville Country Club v. Commissioner]

  • Donors of Easement Ruled to Not Be Qualified Farmers, Thus No Higher Charitable Deduction [Rutkoske v. Commissioner]

  • Effort to Expand Contraceptive Mandate Rejected [Real Alternatives, Inc. v. Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services]

  • Trust Conversion Ruled Not Self-Dealing Because Siblings Are Not Disqualified Persons [PLRs 201730012, 201730017, 201730018]

  • Hospital Loses Charitable Status for Noncompliance With CHNA Process [PLR 201731014]

  • Private Benefit Ruled to Become Inurement Because of Board Service [PLR 201731012]

  • Consulting Services Preclude Exemption [PLRs 201729022, 201733015]

  • Case Study: How Not to Frame a Charity's Dissolution Clause [PLR 201729023]

  • Organization Manages to Generate Four Ways to Preclude Exemption as Social Club [PLR 201723025]

  • Nonexempt Business League Corner [PLR 201731015, 201733016]

  • Private Benefit (and Lots of It) Corner [PLRs 201731017, 201733017]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [201729021, 201729023]

November 2017

  • Administration, Committees Issue Tax Reform Framework

  • Foreign Foundation Ruled to Not Have Excess Business Holdings [PLR 201737003]

  • IRS Concocts New Basis for Revocation: "Sharp Business Practices" [PLR 201734009]

  • Tax Court Again Uses Merger Clause to Find Adequate Substantiation (Big River Development, LLC v. Commissioner]

  • Non-Social Welfare Organization Corner [PLRs 201736026, 201736027] {CCAM 201736023]

  • Government Entity Corner [PLRs 201735001, 201736015, 201735020]

  • Sponsoring Organization Ruled to Provide DAF Gift Substantiation

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201731016, 201731019, 201736024, 201736025, 201736028, 201737013]

  • IRS Publishes Data on Individuals' Noncash Gifts in 2014

  • NY Times Analysis: Affirmative Action Programs Failing

  • Other Developments [Steele v. United States, Islamic Center of Nashville v. State of Tennessee]

December 2017

  • ​House Tax Reform Bill Unveiled

  • Court Rules Ministers' Rental Allowance Is Violation of Establishment Clause [Gaylord v. Mnuchin]

  • 2017-2018 Priority Guidance Plan Released

  • FY 2018 TE/GE Work Plan Issued

  • $33 Million Charitable Deduction Lost Because Mortgages Not Fully Subordinated to Easement [Palmolive Building Investors, LLC. v. Commissioner]

  • IRS and Dissolution Clauses for Charitable Organizations [PLR 201738012]

  • Foundation's Involvement in Rezoning Agreement Held to Not Give Rise to Indebtedness; Rental Income Held Not UBI
    [PLR 201740002]

  • IRS Developing New Application for Social Welfare Organizations

  • TIGTA Issues Updated Report on Processing of Certain Applications

  • Treasury Recommending Elimination or Mitigation of Certain Proposals

  • Administration Issues Interim Final Rules on Insurance Coverage Religious Exemption

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201738014, 201739016, 201740022, 201742027]

  • IRS Updates Tax Rates, Inflation Adjustments for 2018

  • Other Developments [Creditguard of America, Inc. v. Commissioner, Alliance Defending Freedom v. IRS, Fish v. Commissioner, Liberty v. U.S. and NorCal Tea Party Patriots v. IRS]

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