Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Case Study of Legislation vs. Regulation: Defining Political Campaign Intervention under Federal Tax Law

Ellen Aprill's latest article appears in the Duke Law Journal and is available from SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

The rules that should govern political campaign intervention by social welfare organizations exempt from taxation under § 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code have been the subject of recent controversy. Long before all the attention, a group of dedicated and experienced experts on the topic, under the auspices of two well-known nonprofit groups, undertook the task of clarifying the rules regarding tax-exempt political activity. In light of the issues becoming national news, the group, known as the Bright Lines Project, also converted the regulatory proposal into legislative language. These two versions of the same rules — as a set of regulations and as a set of statutes — provide a natural laboratory to compare the administrative law implications of choosing between legislation and regulation to establish a set of tax rules. This Article undertakes that examination. It concludes that, if revenue rulings interpreting regulations are afforded deference under Auer v. Robbins and Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand Co., promulgating the initial definition of political campaign intervention as a set of regulations may well give the Internal Revenue Service greater power to police political campaign intervention by exempt organizations than would the enactment of detailed legislation. It recommends, however, that broad statutory guidance, followed by regulations, and then by revenue rulings strike the best balance between democratic concerns and administrative flexibility.



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Can you help me understand self dealing

Here is the scenario:

1) Private Non-Profit Foundation, (exists to contribute to worthwhile non-profit targeting education for Youth)

2) The non- Profit Foundation has a board member affiliated with a training program for youth. The training program targets at risk high school students. The program will provide mentoring and hands on training in the "Trades", provided program partner, Santa Clara Building and Trades.

3) The Board member's Company will run the mentoring and training program for Youth.

4) The Board member has recused himself from voting on the granting of funds to the program and he has written a letter stating that he will not allow any funds from the program to go to him or to have any control over or influence how the funds are spend or distributed.

The question: Is there any conflict or Double- Self-Dealing under these circumstances?


Posted by: Reginald Swilley | Apr 8, 2014 5:10:50 PM

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