What’s Happening at the IRS? A Few Observations for 2017

A fun thing about practicing law is to observe changes to governmental agencies.  The last few years at the IRS’ EO Division- the section of the federal government responsible for overseeing tax-exempt organizations- has been quite a rollercoaster. The IRS’ EO Division came under intense congressional and public scrutiny in 2013, under allegations that the agency intentionally discriminated against conservative, pro-life, and pro-Israel organizations.

The scandal’s effect on the IRS’ EO Division was monumental.  The Service today is different on so many levels from 2013.  Moreover, 2017 brings a new sheriff to 1600 Pennsylvania, and the IRS is certain to undergo further changes under Trump’s administration.   How have these changes impacted nonprofits, and what’s in store for 2017?  Here are some selected observations on audits, the Form 1023-EZ, and what might be ahead for the IRS under President Trump’s administration. 

Call Your Legislator Today! (or Not?): Lobbying Basics for Nonprofits

“Tell your state rep to vote for State Bill X, to protect __________!”  May a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit legally spend its money (and use volunteers) to urge enactment or defeat of pending or proposed legislation?   Yes, but only through “insubstantial” lobbying, and subject to related legal constraints. For public charities, lobbying communications lie between fully permissible educational issue advocacy and prohibited political campaign activity.

Million-Dollar Salaries and Charities: An Unlikely Mix?

Feeling underpaid and overworked at your nonprofit organization?  For many nonprofit workers, such conditions are the norm.   Nonprofit employees are often willing to accept less pay than their private-sector counterparts because they also enjoy rich non-financial rewards:  helping others in need, serving worthy causes, and achieving goals not attainable through ordinary economic forces.   According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, however, top executives at some charities are increasingly very well paid.   The article states that over 2,700 top executives made more than seven-figure salaries in 2014.  How can some nonprofits justify such high salaries, and what can the rest learn from them? 

Pages

Subscribe to Wagenmaker Law Blog