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The 2020 Nonprofit Counsel Summaries

January 2020

  • Stunning Portrait of Donor-Advised Funds Issued

  •  Tax Court Rejects Easement Gift Deduction, Unenforceable Savings Clause  
    [Coal Property Holdings, LLC v. Commissioner]


  • IRS Getting More Aggressive About Syndicated Easements Enforcement

  • Other Conservation Easement Developments Nonprofit Organization Held
    to Be Individual’s Alter Ego for Penalty Purposes


  • Senate Committee Report Summarizes Charitable Deduction ‘Reforms’

  • Private Benefit Doctrine Corner Nonexempt Business League Corner
    [PLRs 201944015, 201944017, 201945029, 201944014, 201945028]


  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201944016, 201945030]

  • Comments Submitted on Proposed Schedule B Regulations
    [Citizens Union of the City of New York v. Attorney General of the State of New York and the Americans for Prosperity v. Grewal cases  (Dec 2019 issue); Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Harris (July 2016 issue); NAACP v. Alabama (June 2019 issue)]


  • IRS Updates Inflation Adjustments for 2020

  • Other Developments
    [Presley v. Commissioner, Altera Corporation & Subsidiaries v. Commissioner]


February 2020

  • Government's Easement Syndication Complain Survives Dismissal Motions
    [United States v. Zak]


  • Another Round of Charitable Deduction Regulations Issued
    [United States v. American Bar Endowment (see July 1986 issue) and Hernandez v. Commissioner
    (see July 1989 issue) (REG-107431-19).


  • Tax Exemption Precluded in Part Because of Stiftung Principles [PLR 201947020]

  • After Three Efforts, Trust Becomes Reformed Remainder Trust [PLR 201947007]

  • Final Regulations Issued Concerning VEBA/SUB UBI Calculations

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Ruling [PLR 201948009]

  • Tax-Exempt Organizations and E-Filing (IR-2019-206)

  • President Trump Ordered to Pay Damages for Misuse of Foundation 
    [People of the State of New York v. Trump]


  • Universal Charitable Giving Act Introduced

  • Qualified Opportunity Zones Legislation Introduced

  • Other Developments

March 2020

  • Tax Legislation Signed Into Law; Parking Tax is Repealed

  • IRS Restates Its Focus on Syndicated Conservation Easements

  • Tax Court Splits Over Conservation Easement Tax Penalty Process
    Belair Woods, LLC v. Commissioner]


  • Appellate Court Finds ACA Mandate Unconstitutional, Remands as to Severability 

  • Defective Extinguishment Provision Again Dooms Easement Charitable Deduction
    [TOT Property Holdings, LLC v. Commissioner]


  • National Outreach Foundation Case [PLR  201944017]

  • IRS Misanalyzes Fundraising Charity Case [PLR 202001018]

  • IRS Declines to Apply EBT Rules, Revokes Exemptions [PLRs 202001022, 202001023]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201952009, 202001014, 202001027]

  • Nonprofit Organization Has Fair Housing Regulatory Claims Dismissed
    [The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. v. Department of Treasury and OCC]


  • IRS Issues Procedural Rules for 2020
    [Rev. Proc. 2020-1, 2020-1 I.R.B. 1, Rev. Proc. 2020-2, 2020-1 I.R.B. 107, Rev. Proc. 2020-3, 2020-1 I.R.B. 131, Rev. Proc. 2020-5, 2020-1 I.R.B. 241]


  • JCT Staff Issues Report on 2019–2023 Tax Expenditures 

  • Supreme Court Corner
    [Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru; St. James School v. Biel, Hosanna-Tabor
    Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,
    Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue]


  • Governance Law Alert [PLR 202001023]

  • National Taxpayer Advocate Blasts IRS (Again) 

  • Other Developments
    [United States v. Wright, Loube v. Commissioner]


April 2020

  • IRS Introduces Electronically Filed Form 1023 [HR-2020-25]

  • TIGTA Rips IRS Over Ostensible Form 8976 Mismanagement; IRS Rejoins

  • Charity Ruled Engaged in Campaign Activity by Operation of Subsidiary
    {PLRs 202005020; 201127013 (Sept. 2011)] [Rev. Rul. 2007-41]


  • IRS Issues Guidance as to Charitable Giving of Virtual Currency

  • Conservation Easement Litigation [Carter v. Commissioner; Railroad Holdings, LLC v. Commissioner; Oakhill Woods, LLC v. Commissioner] 

  • Commerciality Doctrine Corner [PLRs 202004011, 202004012, 202004015, 202005021]

  • CRS Publishes History of the Charitable Deduction [R461787]

  • Self-Dealing Sanctions: Pigouvian Taxes? 

  • Catching Up 

  • Other Developments [Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue; State of Texas et al. v. United States;
    U.S. House of Representatives v. Texas; State of Texas et al. v. United States; 
    Nonbelief Relief, Inc. v. Rettig; United States v. Stockman] 


May 2020

  • Fidelity Charitable Denied Summary Judgment in Promises Case
    [Fairbairn v. Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund]


  • IRS Creates Promoter Investigations Coordinator Position [IR-2020-41]

  • TIGTA Criticizes TE/GE for Lack of Pursuit of Promoter Penalties 

  • Case Made for Jettisoning Proposal to Change Public Support Regulation


  • Supreme Court Perspective [Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru; St. James School v. Biel; Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania; Seila Law v. CFPB; Liu v. SEC; California v. Texas]

  • Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings  [PLRs 202008009, 202009027, 202010004, 202909025, 202009030, 202011007, 202011013  202909025, 202009030, 202011007, 202011013]

  • Higher Education Corner 

  • Other Developments [Altera Corporation & Subsidiaries v. Commissioner; Americans for Prosperity v. Becerra;
    Thomas More Law Center v. Becerra]


June 2020

  • COVID-19 Relief Laws Benefit Nonprofit Organizations [Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Pub. L. No. 116-136)]

  • Filing Deadlines Extensions [Notice 2020-17; Notice 2020-18; Notice 2020-23; Notice 2020- 20;
    Rev. Proc. 2018-58]


  • Availability of Disaster Relief Payments

  • IRS Inventories FY 2019 EO Accomplishments [Pub. 5329]

  • IRS Ruling Issued as to Rents From Real Property [PLR 202013006]

  • Briefs Filed in Mayo Clinic Case [Mayo Clinic v. United States]

  • App Promoter Fails to Qualify as Exempt Business League [PLR 202013016]

  • Conservation Deed Amendment Clauses May Be Permissible [CCAM 2020-001]

  • Eyewear Gifts Appraisal Doomed Charitable Gift Deduction [Campbell v. Commissioner]

  • Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 202012013, 202014015, 202014019]

July 2020

  • Bucketing Rule Proposed Regs Issued [REG-106864-18]

  • COVID-19 Relief Law Update

  • IRS Issues Proposed Revised Group Exemption Procedures [Notice 2020-36]

  • Deemed Approval Clause Dooms Façade Easement Charitable Deduction
    [Hoffman Properties II, LP v. Commissioner]


  • Nonentities as Exempt Organizations
    [Lakeview Development Corp. v. UBS Financial Services, Inc., US Bank]


  • IRS PLR Teaches Lesson [PLR 202017035]

  • Income From Nonrecurring Event Ruled Not Destructive of Club’s Exemption [PLR 202019027]

  • Private Foundation Corner [PLRs 202016006, 202017026]

  • Nonexempt Business League Corner [PLRs 202015022, 202017028, 202018008]

  • Operational Test Precludes Exemption [PLRs 202015034, 202016022, 202016025, 202016027, 202017034]

  • Supreme Court Update[Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania; Our Lady of Guadalupe School v Morrisey-Berru; St. James School v. Darryl Biel; Georgia v. Public; Maine Community Health Options v. US; Moda Health Plan, Inc. v. US; Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Ins. Co. v. US;CIC Services, LLC v. US]

  • Other Development [Panera Bread Foundation, Inc. v. Commissioner]

August 2020

  • Proposed Excess Compensation Regs Issued [REG-122345-18]

  • Final Regulations Updating EO Reporting Requirements Issued [T.D. 9898]

  • Golf Course Easement Decision Reversed [Champions Retreat Golf Founders, LLC v. Commissioner]

  • Tax Court (Again) Finds Defective Easement Deed Extinguishment Clause
    [Oakbrook Land Holdings, LLC v. Commissioner; Woodland Property Holdings, LLC v. Commissioner]


  • Tax Court Holds Easement Regulation Valid
    [Oakbrook Land Holdings, LLC v. Commissioner]


  • Commerciality Doctrine Derails Illegal Drug Mitigation Efforts [PLR 202021026]

  • Additional Filing Deadline Extensions [Notice 2020-35]

  • Other Conservation Easement Litigation
    [Brannan Sand & Gravel Co., LLC v. Commissioner; Johnson v. Commissioner]


  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings
    [PLRs 202016019, 202017031, 202019028, 202019029, 202021001, 202022006, 202022008, 202022009]


  • Other Developments
    [Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020; Form 8940; Steeves v. IRS; US v. RaPower-3, LLC]


September 2020

  • IRS Chief Counsel Offers Settlements in Syndicated Easement Cases

  • Foundation’s Eased Property Value Ruled Excluded From Payout Base [PLR 202024014]

  • GAO Thoroughly Analyzes, Critiques IRS Examination-Selection Processes

  • Easement Deduction Toppled Because of Extinguishment Provision; No Penalties
    [Hewitt v. Commissioner; Blau v. Commissioner]

  • Other Easement Gift Litigation
    [Hoffman Properties II, LP v. Commissioner; Plateau Holdings, LLC v. Commissioner;
    Lumpkin One Five Six, LLC v. Commissioner; Lumpkin HC, LLC v. Commissioner;
    Village at Effingham, LLC v. Commissioner; Riverside Place, LLC v. Commissioner;
    Maple Landing, LLC v. Commissioner; Englewood Place, LLC v. Commissioner;
    Smith Lake, LLC v. Commissioner]


  • Supreme Court Update
    [Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania; Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru;
    St. James School v. Darryl Biel; Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue]


  • IRS Chief Counsel Fights Against Remainder Trust Abusive Promotion [Couns. Adv. Mem. 2020-006]

  • How Could This Be Otherwise? [Induni v. Commissioner] [Chief Couns. Adv. Mem. 202027003]

  • New Taxpayer Advocate Perpetuates Form 1023-EZ Bash 

  • IRS Announces 2020 Tax Scams

  • Charitable Giving Soared Last Year

  • IRS Data Book for 2019 Published

  • GAO Report Provides Insight as to IRS EO Examinations Processes

  • Other Developments [Lloyd v. Commissioner; Simpson v. Commissioner; Altera Corp. & Subsidiaries v. Commissioner; Rumford Free Catholic Library v. Town of Rumford] [Notices 2020-56 and 2020-23]

October 2020

  • Treasury, IRS Issue Charitable Business Deduction Regulations [T.D. 9907]

  • Tax Lawyers’ PGP EO Wishlist 

  • …And Here Is the Accountants’ List 

  • IRS Keeps on Winning in Conservation Easement Gift Deduction Cases 
    [Belair Woods, LLC v. Commissioner; DMB Realco LLC v. United States (D. Ariz. 2016); 
    Cottonwood Place, LLC v. Commissioner; Red Oak Estates, LLC v. Commissioner]


  • Donor Secures Major Win in Quid Pro Quo Contribution Case
    [Emanouil v. Commissioner]


  • Recent Applications of Commerciality Doctrine [PLRs 202031010, 202032007, 202032008]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 202031009, 202031011]

  • The Difficulties of Litigating Property Tax Exemption in Federal Court
    [The Legion of Christ, Inc. v. Town of Mount Pleasant (S.D.N.Y. (July 27)]


  • NY AG Seeking Dissolution of NRA, Removal of and Restitution From Directors 
    [People of the State of New York v. National Rifle Association et al.]


  • Other Developments [Kovalev v. City of Philadelphia (E.D. Pa.; Congregation Bais Yaakov v. Commissioner].

November 2020

  • Final Regulations on College Investment Income Excise Tax Issued {T.D. 9917]

  • ABA Tax Section Submits Comments on Proposed Group Exemption Rules

  • Religious Organizations Criticize Proposed Group Exemption Rules

  • IRS Rules No Property-Price Manipulation in Self-Dealing Case [PLR 202035002]

  • Foundation’s Grants for Electric Buses Ruled in Conformity With PF Tax Laws [PLR 202034001]

  • Stock Transfers to DAF Ruled Gifts, Not Taxable Redemptions  [Dickinson v. Commissioner]

  • Revocation of Exemption Upheld, Not Barred by Equitable Estoppel Doctrine
    [The Korean-American Senior Mutual Association, Inc. v. Commissioner]


  • Government’s Statements About Easements Appraiser Held Not Return Information Disclosures 
    [United States v. Zak]


  • Appellate Court Finds FEC Gift Disclosure Rule Anemic, Upholds Its Invalidation 
    [Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. Federal Election Commission]


  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 202034010, 202036008, 202037009]

  • Other Developments [Rev. Proc. 2020-1; IR-2020-212; IR-2020-196]
    [Kuma v. Greater New York Conference of Seventh-Day Adventist Church (S.D.N.Y.);
    Harvey v. United States]


December 2020

  • Final Regulations on College and University Investment Income Tax Issue Fixed [T.D. 9917)

  • TIGTA Issues New Audit Plan 

  • Association’s Job-Placement Service Ruled Unrelated Business, Income Not Royalties [TAM 202039018]
    [New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals v. Commissioner]


  • Capital Investment Company Ruled Ineligible for Charitable Tax Exemption [PLR 202041009]

  • Foundation Given Additional Five Years to Sidestep Holdings Penalties [PLR 202040002]

  • Syndicated Conservation Easements Update 

  • Final ABLE Programs Regulations Issued [Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE Act),T.D. 9923]

  • Nonprofit Organizations and the Concept of Ownership [Deckard v. Commissioner, Farrow v. Saint Francis Medical Center]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 202039003, 202039019, 202039020, 202040008]

  • Other Development

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