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The 2018 Nonprofit Counsel Summaries

January 2018

  • House and Senate Pass Tax Reform Bills -- Summary of House Bill and Senate Bill [H.R. 1]

  • Joint Committee Scores Tax Reform Proposals [JCX-54-17, JCX-57-17]

  • Perils of Use of For-Profit Management Company Illustrated [PLR 201744019]

  • Facial Challenge to California's Schedule B Disclosure Rule Fails [Center for Competitive Politics v. Harris]

  • Nonprofit Pharmacy Fails to Gain Recognition of Exemption [PLR 201743018]

  • Foundation's Return of Funds to Which It Wasn't Entitled Ruled Not Taxable Expenditure [PLR 201745001] 

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201743019, 201744020, 201746027, 201746028, 201747009]

  • Contemplating Excise Tax on University Endowments

  • Proposal Would Codify Concept of "Philanthropic Business"

  • Proposal Would Codify Minimum Standards of Due Diligence for Intermediate Sanctions Purposes

  • Other Developments [TAM 201741019, PLR 201430017]


February 2018

  • Tax Reform Legislation Signed Into Law
    [Pub. L. No. 115-97]

  • Joint Committee Estimates Budget Effects of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act [JCX-67-17]

  •  Ninth Circuit Affirms Parks Case [Parks v. Commissioner]

  •  Treasury, IRS Seeking Comments on Proposed Donor-Advised Fund Rules [Notice 2017-73]

  •  Still Another Way to Lose an Easement Contribution Deduction [Salt Point Timber, LLC v. Commissioner]

  •  Court Summarizes Fiduciary Duties Involving Supporting Organizations [Cohen v. Minneapolis Jewish Federation]

  •  Particular Services Rule Defeats Tax Exemptions
    [PLRs 201749016, 201750020]

  •  Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings
    [PLRs 201748010, 201748011, 201749012, 201749017, 201749020]

  •  A Look at the Tax for Paying “Excessive” Compensation

  •  Other Development [Gaylor v. Mnuchin]


March 2018

  • Exempt Organization Loses UBI Case; Payments Held Not Royalties Nor For Convenience of Members
    [New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals v. Commissioner]

  • Government Prevails on Appeal in Case Construing Scope of Trust Charitable Deduction [Green v. United States]

  • A Detailed Look at Accuracy Related Penalties
    [Roth v. Commissioner]

  • CEO of Apparent Private Foundation Hit With Excess Benefit Transaction Taxes  [Farr v. Commissioner]

  • Performance Art Organization Denied Exemption on Basis of Three Applications of Private Benefit Doctrine, One of Which Is Correct  [PLR 201801014]

  • IRS Creeping Back With Erroneous Ruling About Governance [PLR 201801014]

  • Commerciality, Private Benefit Doom Social Welfare Exemption [PLR 201801014]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201751015, 201751016, 201751023, 201802018]

  • Form 1023-EZ Regulations Issued

  • Taxpayer Advocate Strikes Again

  • IRS Issues Procedural Rules for 2018 
    [Rev. Procs. 2018-1, -2, -3, -5, and -10]

  • Other Development [True the Vote v. United States]


April 2018

  • 2017-2018 Priority Guidance Plan Update Published

  • Surprise Relief! New Applications No Longer Required for Form, Location Changes [Rev. Proc. 2018-15]

  • Federal Court of Appeals Holds State Schedule B Disclosure Regime Constitutional [Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation v. Schneiderman]

  • Organization Finally Obtains IRS Recognition, Then Fails to Have Costs Awarded Due to Statutory “Gap” 
    [Friends of the Benedictines in the Holy Land, Inc. v. Commissioner]

  • Many Tax Regulations to Be Jettisoned, Amended
    [REG 132197-17]

  • Comments on DAF Notice [Notice 2017-73]

  • Public Charities’ Affiliation Again Sets Tax Law Trap [PLR 201804005]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201803009, 201805014, 201805015, 201805016, 201808019, 201808020]

  • Senate Committee Reviewing IRS Rulemaking Practices

  • Other Developments [David Muresan Scientific Research Foundation v. Commissioner; Z Street v. Kautter]


May 2018

  • Court: EO Director Not High-Level Official for Church Audit Purposes [United States v. Bible Study Time, Inc.]

  • Provisions of Appropriations Act [Pub. L. No. 115-141]

  • Court Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging “Two-for-One” Executive Order [Public Citizen, Inc. v. Trump]

  • IRS Conjures New Basis for Revocation: Failure to Pay Employment Taxes [PLR 201809009]

  • Foreign Foundation Held Able to Treat Assets of Foreign Investment Vehicle as Those of Disregarded Entity, With Income Subject to Excise Tax [PLR 201808010]

  • Donor-Advised Fund Corner

  • Developments Concerning Endowment Tax

  • Particular Services Rule Dooms Exemption [PLRs  201809007, 201810011, 201811016]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201809011, 201810010]

  • Schedule B Update

  • Supreme Court Saves Us From Felony Prosecution
    for Tax Obstruction [Marinello v. United States]

  • Other Developments [Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association; Abood v. Detroit Board of Education; Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services; Reaching Souls International v. Azar]


June 2018


  • IRS Reports on FY2017 EO Accomplishments

  • IRS Restructuring Legislation Passes House of Representatives

  • Good Thing This Court Hasn’t Heard of Commerciality Doctrine [List Interactive, Ltd. v. Knights of Columbus] 

  • Controversy Over Making of Tax Rules Spills Into Popular Domain

  • Agreement Reached as to OMB Review of Tax Regulations

  • Easement Transferor Developer Denied Deduction Because of Expected Benefit From Use of Property [Wendell Falls Development, LLC v. Commissioner]

  • IRS Pushes Commerciality Doctrine to New Extreme [PLRs 201814009, 201801014]

  • IRS Weighed Inurement Revocation Against Excess
    Benefit Factors [PLR 201816012]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201814010, 
    201814011, 201816007]

  • Tax-Exempt Organizations and Substance-Over-Form Doctrine [Benenson v. Commissioner]

  • TIGTA Reports on Tax-Reform Legislation Implementation [No. 2018-44-027]

  • Delays Sought in New Tax-Law Implementation

  • Other Developments [(Siegel v. Department of the Treasury, Abulhawa v. Department of the Treasury, Association for Honest Attorneys v. Commissioner]

July 2018

  • IRS Issues Guidance As to Use of and Reliance on Updated Databases [Rev. Proc. 2018-32]

  • Treasury, IRS Release Updated Priority Guidance Plan 

  • IRS: Federal Law Controls Characterization of Tax Payments [Notice 2018-54]

  • IRS Finds Significant Involvement and Program-Related Investing in POF Charitable Loan Program [PLR 201821005]

  • School Treasurer Held Not Liable for Payroll Taxes Because of Reasonable Belief Taxes Were Being Paid [Bibler v. United States]

  • Consulting Organization Denied Exemption by Tax Court [Abovo Foundation, Inc. v. Commissioner] 

  • Ministerial Exception and Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine Held to Bar Court’s Review of Religious Groups’ Governance [Puri v. Khalsa]

  • Church Tax Audit Rules Held Inapplicable to IRS Investigation of Pastors [Rowe v. United States]

  • IRS Was Not in Sporting Mood [PLRs 201820019, 201820020]

  • Substantiation Woes [Davis v. Commissioner, Moore v. Commissioner, Fehr v. Commissioner, Farolan v. Commissioner]

  • No Such Thing as Exempt Farmers’ Market [PLRs 201818017, 201819011]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201817008, 201818008, 201818018, 201821013, 201822029, 201822030]

  • Other Development [Tiriumph Mixed Use Investments III, LLC v. Commissioner]


August 2018

  • New York AG Sues Trump Foundation, Family Members [People of State of New York v. Donald J. Trump et al.]

  • Senator Wants Investigation of Charities

  • Colleges and Universities Will Have Stepped-Up Basis in Computing Endowment Tax Net Investment Income [Notice 2018-55]

  • Delay Chorus Grows Louder 

  • Credit Union Controversy Erupts Again

  • Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLR 201822032, 201824012, 201824013, 201824014, 201825003, 201825004, 201825032]

  • Qualified Tuition Reduction Unavailable to Former Employee [Voigt v. Commissioner]

  • IRS Pruning Guidance Lists [Rev. Rul. 2018-15]

  • Other Developments [Reserve Mechanical Corp. v. Commissioner, Jarrett v. Commissioner, Abulhawa v. Department of Treasury]


​September 2018

  • Donor Disclosure Rules Eased for Noncharitable Organizations [Rev. Proc. 2018-38]

  • Supreme Court Holds Public Union Nonmember
    Forced Speech Subsidy Unconstitutional [Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31]

  • Value of Undeveloped Land Excluded in Computing Foundation’s Payout [PLR 201829003]

  • Retroactive Revocations of Exemption Nullified Due to IRS Abuse of Discretion [(Val Lanes Recreation Center Corporation v. Commissioner]

  • Committing Charitable Deduction Fraud— And Avoiding the Fraud Penalty [Guess v. Commissioner]

  • Individual Held Responsible Person, Liable for Charity’s Employment Taxes [In re Donaldson]

  • Pending Case Illustrates Charitable Board’s Internecine Warfare [Bronner et al. v. Duggan et al.]

  • Gift Substantiation Woes [Ayissi-Etoh v. Commissioner, Archer v. Commissioner]

  • College Obtains Permanent Injunctive Relief Against ACA Mandate [Geneva College v. Azar]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLR 201826015, 201829017]

  • Charitable Giving Soared in 2017

  • Other Developments


October 2018

  • Final Charitable Gift Substantiation Rules At Long Last Promulgated [T.D. 9836]

  • Appellate Court: No Deduction for Easement Gift Because of Flawed Extinguishment Provision in Deed [PBBM-Rose Hill, Limited v. Commissioner]

  • Foundation’s Scholarship Grants Held Charitable Outlays, Not Taxable Expenditures [PLR 201830003]

  • Private Foundation Granted Extension to Elect Under Conduit Rules [PLR 201831007]

  • IRS Misapplies Private Inurement, Private Benefit Doctrines [PLR 201831014] 

  • Court Decisions About Tax Regulations Have Major Implications for Exempt Organizations: Part One [Altera Corporation & Subsidiaries v. Commissioner, Good Fortune Shipping SA v. Commissioner]

  • Private Benefit Doctrine Corner [PLRs 201830023, 201831012, 201831015, 201832013, 201832014, 201832015, 201832017]

  • ABLE Accounts, QTP Developments [Notices 2018-58, 2018-62]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Ruling [PLR 201831009]

  • Other Developments [Charleston Area Medical Center, Inc. v. United States]


November 2018

  • IRS Issues Guidance As To Taxes on Multiple Unrelated Businesses {Notice 2018-67]

  • Federal Charitable Deduction Rules Explained in Effort to Squelch States’ SALT Cap Workaround Laws [REG-112176-18]

  • Court Decisions About Tax Regulations Have Major Implications for Exempt Organizations: Part Two [Altera Corporation and Subsidiaries v. Commissioner, Good Fortune Shipping SA v. Commissioner]

  • Charitable Deduction Denied Because “Donor” Doesn’t Own Gift Property [Harbor Lofts Associates v. Commissioner]

  • Conservation Easement on Golf Course Did Not Yield Charitable Deduction [Champions Retreat Golf Founders, LLC v. Commissioner]

  • A Nonprofit Compensation Saga [Levy v. Young Adult Institute, Inc.]

  • IRS Decides For-Profit Advertising Activities Not Attributable to EO as Unrelated Business [TAM 201837014]

  • Schedule B Disclosure Again Upheld in California [Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra; Thomas More Law Center v. Becerra]

  • Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201831013, 201833032, 201835007, 201835009, 201835014]

  • Other Developments [Community Education Foundation v. Commissioner; Frank v. Gaos, NorCal Tea Party Patriots v. Internal Revenue Service]


December 2018

  • TE/GE FY 2019 Program Letter Issued

  • TIGTA Issues Report on PARC Referrals [2019-10-006]

  • Country Club Loses Unrelated Business Income Case on Appeal  [Losantiville Country Club v. Commissioner]

  • IRS: Social Welfare Organization Is Political Party Under Bad Debt Rules [CCAM 201842006]

  • Tax Court Declines Summary Judgment Rulings on Two Charitable Deduction Issues [Chrem v. Commissioner]

  • Deduction for Easement Gift Tentatively Denied for Lack of Complete Appraisal Summary  [Belair Woods, LLC v. Commissioner] 

  • From the “Sacred to the Profane”: Taxation of Pastor’s “Gifts” [Felton v. Commissioner]

  • Income Paid Children by Public Charity Assigned to Parents for Tax Purposes [Ray v. Commissioner]

  • Retirement Plans Held Church Plans [Smith v. OSF Health Care System] 

  • TIGTA Issues FY 2019 Annual Audit Plan 

  • Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201836009, 201838008, 201838009]

  • Qualified Opportunity Funds Proposed Regulations Issued [REG-115420-18]

  • Other Developments [Farr v. Commissioner; Cohen v. Minneapolis Jewish Federation; Presley v. Commissioner]

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