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The 2019 Nonprofit Counsel Summaries

January 2019

  • 2018-19 Priority Guidance Plan Released

  • IRS Releases Draft 2018 Form 990-T Instructions 

  • Fundraising That Wasn’t (Maybe) [PLR 201843011]

  • Public Charity, Caught Consulting and Certifying, Has Status Revoked  [PLR 201843016]

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

  • IRS Rules as to Computation of VEBA’s UBTI [PLR 201844005]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings  [PLR 201844001, 201844013, 201845014, 201845030, 201846006, 201846007, 201847010]

  • IRS Delegations 

  • Other Developments [Frank v. Gaos, New York v. Mnuchin, Diebold Foundation, Inc. v. Commissioner] [PLR 201844011]


February 2019

  • Court Rules That Modified ACA Is Unconsititutional [Texas et al. v. United States; National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius]

  • IRS Provides Interim Guidance on Transportation Fringes Rules [Notice 2018-99, Notice 2018- 100]

  • Private Foundation Wins Ruling on Unrelated Income and PF Issues [PLR 201849009] 

  • Foundation Receives Guidance on Estate Administration Exception [PLR 201850012]

  • IRS Favorably Rules on Qualified Appreciated Stock Gift to Foundation [PLR 201848005]

  • Sales Taxation of Online Retailers Expands in Wake of Wayfair [South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc]

  • Medical Marijuana Brings Relief in Determining Multiple Businesses [Californians Helping to Alleviate Medical Problems (CHAMP) v. Commissioner (2007); (Olive v. Commissioner (2012); Canna Care, Inc. v. Commissioner (2015); Patients Mutual Assistance Collective Corporation v. Commissioner]

  • GAO Punts on Whether IRS Donor Reporting Guidance Is CRA Rule [Rev. Proc. 2018-38]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Ruling [PLR 201847011]

  • Other Developments

March 2019

  • IRS Issues Guidance on Express Compensation Tax Rules 

  • Tidbits From the Bluebook 

  • Technical Corrections Bill Passed by House in December 

  • Tax Court Remains Firm in Stance Against Floating Easements [Pine Mountain Preserve, LLLP v. Commissioner]

  • Foundation’s Grant Ruled Qualifying Distribution, Not Taxable Expenditure [PLR 201851003]

  • Prospective Foundation Grant Ruled to Be Insufficiently Unusual [PLR 201850023]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLR 201849012, 201848017]

  • Contraceptive Mandate Rules Enjoined by Two Courts [Pennsylvania v. Trump, California et al. v. HHS]

  • Last Month’s GAO Analysis: Backstories

  • IRS Updates Inflation Adjustments for 2019 

  • IRS Issues Procedural Rules for 2019 

  • Easement Law Reform Legislation Introduced

  • Other Developments [Freedom Path, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service]


April 2019


  • IRS Inventories FY 2018 EO Accomplishments

  • Charitable Deductions Lost Due to Partial Interest Gift, Faulty Appraisals [Mann v. Commissioner]

  • IRS Gets It Wrong Again in Successor Entity Ruling

  • TIGTA Issues Report on TE/GE Division Assistance in Criminal Law Cases 

  • Charitable Board Fight Case Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction [Bronner et al. v. Duggan et al.]

  • Supreme Court Interprets Intergovernmental Tax Immunity Doctrine [Dawson v. Steager, West Virginia State Tax Commissioner, McCulloch v. Maryland]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLR 201852020, 201903020, 201903022, 201903021]

  • Status Changes 

  • Name Changes 

  • Legislative Initiatives

  • Other Developments [Senior Housing Assistance Group v. Amtax Holdings 260, LLC; American Legion v. American Humanist Association]


May 2019


  • Religious Housing Benefit Held to Have Secular Purposes, Be Constitutional [Gaylor v. Mnuchin, Lemon v. Kurtzman, Town of Greece v. Galloway]

  • Organization Has Exemption Revoked Due to Certification Activity [PLR 201906010, 201843016]

  • Organization Ruled to Be Religious Order, Absent Church Control [PLR 201904008]

  • Estate’s Charitable Deduction Reduced Because of Family Members’ Manipulations [Dieringer v. Commissioner]

  • Case Study as to Trustee’s Breach of Fiduciary Duties [Cook v. Marshall]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLR 201904015, 201904016, 201905005, 201906012, 20190701]

  • Treasury, IRS Issue Tax Regulatory Process Statement

  • Hospice Center Denied Real Property Tax Exemption [Midwest Palliative Hospice and Care Center v. Beard]

  • Other Developments
    [Wichita Center for Graduate Medical Education, Inc. v. United States, Montrois v. United States, Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, United States v. Nutter, Danduran v. United States, Mann v. United States] [PLR 201902032]


June 2019

  • Rehearing Denied in Schedule B Litigation; Vigorous Dissent Emerges [Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra; Thomas More Law Center v. Becerra; NAACP v. Alabama; Buckley v. Valeo]

  • “Bogus Tax Scheme” Using Ostensible Charity Shut Down, Penalized [Tarpey v. United States] [PLR 201734009]

  • Transfer of LLC Interests Ruled Not Self-Dealing; Control Rules Applied [PLR 201907004]

  • Conservation Easement Developments 

  • What’s the Government’s Problem With the Panera Bread Foundation? [(Panera Bread Foundation, Inc. v. Commissioner] [PLR 201911010]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLR 201907007, 201907013, 201907014, 201908024, 201909015, 201910022, 201911006, 201911016]

  • Are Federal Home Loan Banks Applicable Tax-Exempt Organizations? 

  • State Supreme Court Rules as to Charitable Immunity Law and Facts [Davis Nursing Association v. Neal]

  • Other Developments


July 2019

  • IRS Data Book for 2018 Published

  • Organization Aiding Patients Using Cannabis Compounds Denied Exemption [PLR 201917008]

  • Court Permanently Enjoins Marketing of “Ultimate Tax Plan” [United States v. Meyer]

  • IRS Ruled Able to Make Dual Initial Determinations of Deficiency in Charitable Deduction Case [Roth v. Commissioner]

  • Exemption Denied to Entity With Commercial, Private, and Unrelated Undertakings [PLR 201918019]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLR 201918018, 201918020, 201919015, 201919018]

  • TIGTA Favorably Evaluates IRS’s Efforts to Implement TCJA (Twice) 

  • Administration Files Brief in ACA Case [Texas et al. v. United States]

  • AG Corner 

  • Charity Act Reintroduced 

  • Other Developments [Simpson v. Commissioner]

August 2019

  • TIGTA: IRS Needs to Complete Compliance Strategy for Excess Compensation

  • Appellate Court Upholds Denial of $33 Million Charitable Deduction for Lack of Property Basis Disclosure [Blau v. Commissioner; RERI Holdings I, LLC v. Commissioner]

  • Court Decrees Payment of Legal Fees in Application Discrimination Case [True the Vote, Inc. v. IRS]

  • Case Study on How Not to Apply for Exemption Recognition [PLR 201921019]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLR 201921014, 201922038, 201923026, 201923027]

  • Evangelism, Personal Expenses, and Charitable Contribution Deductions [Oliveri v. Commissioner]

  • Challenge to Listed Transaction Notice Held Barred by AntiInjunction Act [CIC Services, LLC v. United States; Bob Jones University v. Simon; Alexander v. “Americans United,” Inc.]

  • College Admissions Fairness Act Introduced

  • Report Issued on Proposals to Increase Charitable Giving

  • Other Developments [Fairbairn v. Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund; National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius; Brown v. Commissioner; Felton v. Commissioner; Altera Corporation & Subsidiaries v. Commissioner]

​September 2019

  • Proposed Regulations on College Investment Income Excise Tax issued

  • IRS Modernization Act Becomes Law 

  • Final Regulations Issued Concerning Social Welfare Organizations’ Notice Requirement 

  • Final Regulations Issued Concerning Charitable Deductions and Salt Cap [United States v. American Bar Endowment; Hernandez v. Commissioner; New Jersey et al. v. Mnuchin et al.]

  • Charitable Giving Declined in 2018 

  • A Look at Lawsuit Filed Against Fidelity Charitable [Fairbairn v. Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund]

  • Progress! IRS Applies Unrelated Business Law Rather Than Commerciality Doctrine (Twice) [PLRs 201925015, 201925017, 201926016, 201929021]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [201911008, 201924018, 201924019, 201925020, 201927022, 


  • Supreme Court Corner [Auer v. Robbins, Kisor v. Wilkie; American Legion v. American Humanist Organization; Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission v. American Humanist Association; North Carolina Department of Revenue v. Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust

  • Charitable Giving Corner [PLRs 201928005, 201930017]

  • National Taxpayer Advocate Still Unhappy With Recognition Process

October 2019

  • Court Trashes Primary Purpose Test, Creates Potential Public Charity Classification Chaos [Mayo Clinic v. United States]

  • Rev. Proc. Changing Gift Disclosure Rules Set Aside for Procedural Reasons [Bullock et al. v. Internal Revenue Service
    et al]


  • Private Foundation Wins Big in Stock Valuation Dispute [Wayne L. Ryan Revocable Trust et al. v. Constance “Connie” Ryan and Streck, Inc.]

  • IRS Applies Commerciality Doctrine in Denying Exemption for Coffeehouse [PLR 201934008]

  • Charitable Lead Trust’s Termination Ruled to Not Trigger Termination Tax [Living Faith, Inc. v. Commissioner, Airlie Foundation v. Commissioner] [PLR 201930017]

  • Fundraising Charity Loses Exemption Because of Corporate Sponsorship Program [Giving Hearts, Inc. v. Commissioner]

  • Nonexempt Business League Corner [PLR 201931009, 201931010, 201931013]

  • Charities and Bankruptcy 101 [National Emergency Medicine Association (US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia)]

  • Charitable Estate Planning: A Case Study [PLR 201933007]

  • Sad Case for Exempt Amateur Organization Status [PLR 201933016]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201930004, 201931011, 201931012]

November 2019 

  • Regulations Proposed to Update Reporting Requirements, Including Donor Disclosure [Bullock
    et al. v. Internal Revenue Service et al.] [(REG-102508-16)] 


  • Supreme Court Petitioned to Review Charitable Donors Disclosure Case [Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra, NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson]

  • Personal Savings Exception Applied to Investment and Consulting Services to Charities [PLR 201937003]

  • Community Foundation and Supporting Organization Held Single Entity [PLRs 201936002, 201936003]

  • Golf Course Held For Profit, Despite Original Charitable Purposes [WP Realty, LP v. Commissioner]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLR 201932017, 201935013]

  • Banks, Credit Unions Battle Erupts Again

  • Other Developments [Cohen v. Minneapolis Jewish Federation]

December 2019

  • FY 2020 TE/GE Program Letter Issued 

  • GAO Issues Report on Tax-Exempt Organizations and Abusive Tax Schemes
    [GAO Report: Tax-Law Enforcement: IRS Could Better Leverage Existing Data to Identify Abusive Schemes Involving
    Tax-Exempt Entities (GAO-19-491 (Sept. 2019)]


  • Court Declares New York’s Donor Disclosure Laws Unconstitutional [Citizens Union of the City of New York v. Attorney
    General of the State of New York]


  • NJ Statute Impinging on Independent Advocacy Rights Ruled Unconstitutional [Americans for Prosperity v. Grewal]

  • Social Welfare Status Denied to Cannabis Retailer [PLR 201941028]

  • Other Recent IRS Private Letter Rulings [PLRs 201940008, 201940009,201940011, 201940013, 201940013, 201941029]

  • TIGTA Issues 2020 Audit Plan 

  • Other Developments [Charleston Area Medical Center, Inc. et al. v. United States, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard University, New York et al. v.
    Mnuchin (S.D.N.Y.)

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