Monday, June 24, 2024

Kermit on Red Light Charity

No photo description available.

June 24, 2024 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 3, 2024

Reports from AMT/EITC Continued - All.The.Politics.

Or should I say, electioneering....

It's a unique and polarizing election year and we have a very active Supreme Court on a variety of First Amendment topics,  so it's no suprise that we had two important presentations on the Johnson Amendment's prohibition on the politicial campaign intervention. 

Ben Leff presented a project that he is working on with Sam Brunson are working on some public interest litigation in this space.   As many of you may know, and as blogged about most recently here just a couple of days ago,  SAFE SPACE v. Commissioner s a test case in the works challenging the Johnson Amendment, a project that Ilya Shapiro had a hand in.   SAFE SPACE takes an all-or-nothing approach to the problems, clearly stating that the organization intends to do both electioneering and lobbying directly.

Ben and Sam intend to do something similar, in that they are filing with the intent of developing a test case.  Ben discussed their project on the blog previously - see here.  With the latest report that SAFE SPACE has been dismissed and returned to the administrative stage to develop additional facts,  Ben and Sam's project may be able to catch up procedurally.   Their project is very different from SAFE SPACE, however, as it will continued to utilized an affiliate organizations in their structure:

This Article describes the actions that Sam and I plan to take to create our own nonprofit organizations to endorse candidates in November 2024 using our
“alternate means” strategy that is explicitly distinguished from the marginal cost paradigm advanced by SAFE SPACE.  While it is likely that noting will happen to our application prior to the 2024 election, we believe that engaging in Constitutional self-help using an alternate means strategy is urgent given the existence of SAFE SPACE and its case pending in Tax Court.

The paper walked its way throught the Constitutional analysis of Branch Ministries and Taxation Without Representation, and why their alternative structure works to address the First Amendment speech issues while also protecing the charitable sector from being overrun.  Look for more updates on all of this - I'm sure Nonprofit Law Prof Blog will have the scoop, since both Ben and Sam are contributors here.

Phil Hackney, yet another of our bloggers and one who has been very active on this issue, presented his paper "The Political in Taxation."   Phil says that the motiviation for the article was "the House Ways and Means recent suggestion that spending on voter registration and get out the vote efforts ought to be prohibited."  It takes a wider view of how the tax code view political (again, in the electioneering sense) expenditures.   The article is a wonderful take on the artifical and overlapping distinctions among electionerring, lobbying, issue advocacy, and straight up personal consumptions that we deal with regularly in the Code.    As nonprofit types, we are used to these silos, but the are really artificial to the rest of the world.   Phil's project is really important as we try to think through an issue that threatens the legitimacy of our sector.

Speaking of Phil... he takes over blogging this week so be sure to ask him about it!

Thoughtfully, eww




June 3, 2024 in Conferences, Current Affairs, Federal – Judicial, Federal – Legislative, In the News, Paper Presentations and Seminars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 31, 2024

Reports from AMT/EITC - DAO(c)(3)

In what I hope to be a series of reports from the AMT/ETIC confererence's nonprofit participants, Sam Brunson previewed a really interesting project on using DAOs for charitable activity.  For the Luddites among us (including yours truly) , a DAO is a "Decentralized Autonomous Organization" - an organizational that exists in the blockchain-o-sphere, characterized by the decentralized management of token holders by a common purpose.   Here's the Investopedia summary for more.  

The thing that makes a DAO interesting and unique - its decentralized management - poses all sorts of issues for nonprofit fidiuciary duties and compliance with the requirements of Section 501(c)(3).  Sam says:

So DAOs likely don’t meet the requirements for tax exemption. On top of that (or perhaps, organizationally, before that), their ethos also does not fit in with the rule-based requirements of tax exemption. DAOs, like much in the world of crypto, believes that it cannot and should not fit within existing regulatory structures. It believes that current rules do not really apply, that new rules should be implemented, and that, until they are, it should be able to act however it chooses. But that does not fit with the tight control that the tax law exerts over organizations that want to be exempt from federal income taxation, and that want to provide donors with deductions and nonrealization for donations.

Sam's working through some potential soluations on this quandry, and hopefully the workshop helped him brainstorm some ideas.  I'm looking forward to seeing more on this cutting edge project!

From the admittedly technologically challenged eww

May 31, 2024 in Conferences, In the News, Paper Presentations and Seminars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Greetings from Chicago and the AMT/EITC Conference!

Hi all from near the campus of the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, which is hosting the AMT/EITC Conference - a workshop for mid and senior level tax profs.   Some of the ideas being presented are fully baked - mine is only half baked but I am looking forward to getting some wonderful feedback.

I'm super excited for this conference becuase many of the superstars of Nonprofit Law Prof World are here, including Sam Brunson, Ben Leff, Miranda Perry Fleisher, Brian Galle, David Walker, and Phil Hackney.  So many really great discussions about to happen about the tax-exempt world!  I'm going to try to catch up with some of my fellow profs and get permission to talk about their projects in the works.  Since I have my own permission, I can tell you a bit about my work in progress, which we will discuss tomorrow.

You may have heard about the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project - you can find the project's website here:    They describe themselves as follows:

The Trust-Based Philanthropy Project is a five-year, peer-to-peer funder initiative to address the inherent power imbalances between foundations and nonprofits. At its core, trust-based philanthropy is about redistributing power—systemically, organizationally, and interpersonally—in service of a healthier and more equitable nonprofit sector. On a practical level, this includes multi-year unrestricted funding, streamlined applications and reporting, and a commitment to building relationships based on transparency, dialogue, and mutual learning.

Having worked with many private foundations over the years, the first thing that immediately came to mind as I explored the Project is "What about 4945?  and 4942??"   Typical tax lawyer, I know.   But the reality is that the private foundation excise taxes are rooted in distrust... a deep, deep Congressional distrust of private foundations, their donors, and their governing bodies.  One need only take a spin through the transcript of the Patman Hearings to know that Code Section 4945 does not come from a place of partnership and equity.   The sad fact is that distrust is baked into private foundation grant-making through the tax code.  Can we look at all of the private foundation excise taxes, but especially 4945, through the lens of trust based philanthropy and see if we can't make some changes for the better?  That's my goal in this project.

Coming to a law review near you... TBD!

Hopefully, more reporting from on the ground tomorrow!

Excitedly, eww




May 29, 2024 in Conferences, Current Affairs, Federal – Legislative, Paper Presentations and Seminars, Publications – Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Section on Trusts & Estates AALS Panel in DC Jan 5: Strategic Use of Trusts for Wealth Preservation

The Section on Trusts and Estates of the American Association of Law Schools hosts a panel tomorrow in DC entitled: The Strategic Use of Trusts for Wealth Preservation

The Moderator is me Philip T. Hackney, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

The Speakers include Naomi R. Cahn, University of Virginia School of Law, Thomas P. Gallanis, Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, Deborah S. Gordon, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Lynne Marie Kohm, Regent University School of Law, Peyton Nicole Farley, Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Doris Henderson Causey, Court of Appeals of Virginia,  Natalie M. Lynner, Drake University Law School and Allison Tait, The University of Richmond School of Law

The program is described as follows: "Trusts can be strategically utilized to achieve different objectives, including asset protection, tax planning, succession planning, philanthropic endeavors, and commercial transactions. Use of trusts to guard and protect wealth has resulted in ever-evolving uses of the vehicle, with an increased desire to cloak trusts with a veil of secrecy. This panel considers wealth preservation generally, and other topics related to the strategic uses of trusts, including asset protection trusts, offshore trusts, jurisdictional considerations, and asset protection strategies."

A business meeting will take place at the conclusion of the program.

Philip Hackney

January 4, 2024 in Conferences, Paper Presentations and Seminars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Section of AALS Panel Jan 5 in DC

The Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools hosts a panel tomorrow January 5 on Recent Scholarship in Nonprofit & Philanthropy Law.

The moderator is Brian Galle, Georgetown University Law Center.

The Speakers include Jill E. Fisch, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, Darryll K. Jones (of this blog), Florida A&M University College of Law, Christopher J. Ryan, Jr., University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, and Linda F. Sugin, Fordham University School of Law

Papers were selected in a call for papers as the most outstanding recent work in nonprofit and philanthropy law.

A business meeting will take place at the program conclusion.

Philip Hackney

January 4, 2024 in Conferences, Paper Presentations and Seminars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Deadline Extended for Call for Papers on the Future of Nonprofit Regulation

Download (6) Download (15)The Urban Institute and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy have extended the deadline for responding to the Call for Papers for The Future of Nonprofit Regulation in the United States symposium to November 27, 2023. The symposium will be held April 18-19, 2024. Here is part of the call for papers description:

Scholars and practitioners are invited to submit brief abstracts describing papers they will write and present at the two-day hybrid symposium on the Future of Nonprofit Regulation in the United States, which will be held on April 18-19, 2024, at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. Authors will be invited to revise their papers and submit them to be considered for a special symposium issue of Nonprofit Policy Forum, a peer-reviewed international journal. Authors may submit as sole author or in collaboration with co-authors.

. . . .

Symposium Goals: The symposium is designed to bring together empirical information and cross-sector perspectives to address critical issues in the regulation of nonprofit organizations and philanthropy with the goal of encouraging informed public policies and relevant research.

Lloyd Mayer

November 11, 2023 in Conferences, Paper Presentations and Seminars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 16, 2023

Canopy Forum: RFRA at 30

On Thursday at 10:30 am Central, the Canopy Forum is hosting a webinar entitled "The Religious Freedom Restoration Act at 30." While it is not specifically geared toward answering nonprofit or tax-exempt organization questions, religious organizations are a huge, and important, sector of the nonprofit world, attracting more than 25% of charitable donations in 2021. So even if the discussion of RFRA doesn't directly address questions of nonprofit law, it's an important law dealing with an important corner of the nonprofit world. (Full disclosure: I'll be talking about RFRA and religious tax protestors.) An abstract for the webinar:

Thirty years ago this November, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). RFRA was birthed from a popular bipartisan effort in Congress to respond to Employment Division v. Smith, a 1990 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld as constitutional under the Free Exercise Clause facially neutral and generally applicable laws. Soon after its enactment, RFRA’s scope came under dispute. Today, the contours of the federal statute—and its state law progeny—continue to be a source of litigation and scholarly discussion. This one-day symposium will look back at RFRA’s origins and evolution and look forward to its new frontiers.

If you're interested, you can register here.

Samuel D. Brunson

October 16, 2023 in Conferences, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 13, 2023

Venable: Highlights of the 2023 NAAG/NASCO Annual Conference

6a00d8341bfae553ef02b75199f918200c-320wiThe Venable law firm has posted Highlights of the 2023 NAAG/NASCO Annual Conference held earlier this week. Here is the introduction:

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), in conjunction with the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO), hosted its annual conference to discuss the state of charities and a variety of issues affecting this segment of the nonprofit sector. Although the second day of the two-day conference is open only to attorneys general and government staff, the first day was open to the public. In this first session, topics included governance issues, state regulatory updates, ethical challenges, and other operational and programmatic considerations. The following is a summary of some of the main lessons learned from various panels on the public day.

Lloyd Mayer

October 13, 2023 in Conferences, State – Executive | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Inaugural Newsletter for International Charity Law Network

325c211d-d631-a17f-198e-63d619f07965The new International Charity Law Network has published its inaugural newsletter. Here is the introduction:

Dear International Charity Law Community,

Welcome to the inaugural newsletter for the new International Charity Law Network! In September 2022, over two dozen charity law scholars from five continents gathered at the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway to share their ongoing work and to discuss formation of the Network. By the end of that meeting it was clear that charity law scholarship would greatly benefit from opportunities for scholars to learn and collaborate across borders. This newsletter is one of the fruits of that discussion, along with the International Charity Law Network website and a planned 2024 gathering.

Please see below for more information about the Network, upcoming events relating to the study of charity law internationally, calls for papers, and recent research. Please also share this newsletter with academics, practitioners, and regulators who are interested in charity law. Anyone who is interested in receiving future issues of the newsletter directly can sign up here.

If you have any research, upcoming events, calls for papers, or other news that we should include on the Network’s website and in future newsletters, please contact Lloyd Mayer at [email protected].

We look forward to collaborating with you.

International Charity Law Network Board of Advisors (Oonagh Breen, Matthew Harding, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, Debra Morris, Tang Hang Wu, Mukami Wangai)

Lloyd Mayer

August 10, 2023 in Conferences, International | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, June 30, 2023

Pleasure Submarines and NGO Migrant Rescue Boats

 A photograph released by The Hellenic Coast Guard showing the migrant ship off the coast of Greece on June 13.

A migrant boat photographed shortly before it capsized and 500 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea June 19, 2023.

The whole world is still crazy and DeSatan is at it again. That's the news of the day, that's all you need to know. Just go back to bed. DeSatan's lackeys in the state house have enacted an anti-immigrant law that he and everybody else knows is unconstitutional.  But hey the law will make for more good campaign slogans.  Especially for someone trying his best to be more outrageous than Trump in his articulated hatred for "other" people.  Or maybe he ain't trying at all.  He is for our time the bad version of George Wallace -- the version before Wallace's conversion from Saul to Paul, as it were.  I'm telling you, we're gonna keep giving this Florida Mussolini guy a pass until one day we wake up to find that we are all "other people."  Its not always early immigrants who are the most tyrannical against later immigrants, but DeSatan is an early immigrant.  His people were "other people" just like the rest of us:

All eight great-grandparents of DeSantis, who recently signed what has been described as the strongest anti-immigration bill in the US, were migrants from southern Italy who were among the hundreds of thousands of Italians who left home in the early 20th century in search of a better future.  “His great-grandmother, Maria Nolfi, was my grandfather Domenico’s sister,” Lupi told Adnkronos. “Both emigrated to America. She died young, when she was just 43 years old, after marrying Nicola DeSantis. Daniel James DeSantis, the governor’s grandfather, was born from their marriage in the US, and, in turn, married Viola Petrella, also of Abruzzo origins.” James DeSantis and Viola Petrella had a son named Ronald Daniel DeSantis, father of the aspiring US presidential candidate.

DeSatan's homeland, Italy, is still criminalizing NGOs spending far less to save thousands from drowning than the whole world spent trying to save five scientifically arrogant people from dying during a money-to-burn pleasure excursion. Italy just recently snatched two NGO rescue boats for not ignoring people drowning in the ocean.  I'm just stating the uncomfortable facts, I'm not glad the submariners  died.   Greece has joined Italy too, by the way.

From the New York Times, June 23, 2023:

On one vessel, five people died on a very expensive excursion that was supposed to return them to the lives they knew. On the other, perhaps 500 people died just days earlier on a squalid and perilous voyage, fleeing poverty and violence in search of new lives.  After contact was lost with the five inside a submersible descending to the Titanic, multiple countries and private entities sent ships, planes and underwater drones to pursue a faint hope of rescue. That was far more effort than was made on behalf of the hundreds aboard a dangerously overcrowded, disabled fishing trawler off the Greek coast while there were still ample chances for rescue.  And it was the lost submersible, the Titan, that drew enormous attention from news organizations worldwide and their audiences, far more than the boat that sank in the Mediterranean and the Greek Coast Guard’s failure to help before it capsized.

From NPR, June 28, 2023:

Many around the world closely followed the plight last week of five wealthy men who went missing aboard a Titanic-bound submersible. Meanwhile, researchers at the United Nations' International Organization for Migration (IOM) updated the number of migrants who have died trying to reach Europe by sea this year: nearly 2,000. 

Dhingra notes that rescue efforts by civil society groups have been criminalized. Earlier this year, two dozen aid workers who participated in migrant rescue operations were put on trial in Greece. The UN said there were no longer any civil society rescue teams operating in Greek waters. The true number of those who have drowned in the sea is thought to be far higher than IOM's minimum estimates. "This year, there are probably a lot of ghost shipwrecks – boats that nobody knows about," di Giacomo says.

The CBC, the Associated Press, and NBC, among others have all talked about this. Something is not right about this.

darryll k. jones

June 30, 2023 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Trustee Compensation And Charity Care Provision in US Nonprofit Hospitals

From a study published this week in Health Affairs . No reaction yet from AHA, but I am sure it is forthcoming.  

Nonprofit hospitals are required to pursue charitable missions to justify their taxpayer subsidies, which include exemptions from federal and state income taxes, property tax, and sales tax and the privilege of receiving tax-deductible charitable contributions and issuing tax-exempt bonds.1–5 These missions may come in the form of charity care and other types of community benefit, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Nonprofit organizations’ trustees represent the interest of a wide range of stakeholders and fulfill critical fiduciary duties to ensure that management decisions are aligned with the advancement of the hospital’s charitable missions.6,7

Trustees are usually motivated to contribute to the nonprofit organization’s charitable mission, and many are uncompensated.6,7 Using data from mandatory filings with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), we found that in 2019, among a total of 2,058 US nonprofit hospital organizations, 37.3 percent (n ¼ 768) compensated their trustees, and 62.7 percent (n ¼ 1,290) did not (in 2011, 40.1 percent of nonprofit hospitals compensated their trustees). The former, on average, had a lower charity-care expense ratio than the latter (1.6 percent versus 2.2 percent; p < 0:01; exhibit 1). In addition, from 2011 to 2019 the average charity-care-to expense ratio among all nonprofit hospitals decreased by 21 percent, with ratios among compensators declining more than those among noncompensators.

In a companion study published in the same Health Affairs issue, researchers found hospitals charged uninsured patients about forty to fifty percent less than the rates billed to insured patients for the same hospital service.  The outcome was especially pronounced for government and nonprofit  hospitals.  Here is page 3 of the first study:


April 6, 2023 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 27, 2023

Festschrift for Professor Ellen Aprill at Loyola Law School LA

Thumbnail_ellen aprill festschrift20230324_151012Loyola Law School Los Angeles hosted a Festschrift on Friday March 24, celebrating the scholarly career of Ellen Aprill who has
contributed so much to the nonprofit/tax-exempt organization legal sphere over her impressive career. I participated in the event. It was a wonderful opportunity for the Loyola Law School Community to share a collective recognition of Prof. Aprill with law professors from around the country, as well as practitioners. So many described the significant ways in which Prof. Aprill impacted their scholarly and personal lives. It was a touching tribute with her family sharing fabulous reflections as well. 

9:30 am – 3:00 pm  
FESTSCHRIFT & LIVE SYMPOSIUM featuring works-in-progress, to be published in a symposium issue of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, by  

The presentation of papers was followed by a celebration and tribute from around thirty different people from students to colleagues, from practitioners to family from 3:30 – 5:00 pm. It was a true joy.

Philip Hackney

March 27, 2023 in Conferences, Paper Presentations and Seminars, Publications – Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Brunson & Hackney: A More Capacious Concept of Church

160603_Sam_Brunson_016Download (3)Samuel D. Brunson (Loyola Chicago) and Philip Hackney (Pittsburgh) have posted A More Capacious Concept of Church, which will be published in the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review as part of a symposium issue honoring Ellen Aprill (Loyola L.A.). Here is the abstract:

United States tax law provides churches with extra benefits and robust protection from IRS enforcement actions. Churches and religious organizations are automatically exempt from the income tax without needing to apply to be so recognized and without needing to file a tax return. Beyond that, churches are protected from audit by stringent procedures. There are good reasons to consider providing a distance between church and state, including the state tax authority. In many instances, Congress granted churches preferential tax treatment to try to avoid excess entanglement between church and state, though that preferential treatment often just shifts the locus of entanglement. But those benefits and protections come with cost both to individual churches (by making these organizations susceptible to tax shelters and political activity shelters) and to our democratic order (by granting churches to a higher status than other organizations). Does Congress get the balance right? We think the balance struck is problematic but justifiable. In this Essay we only note the problems and suggest some actions churches and religious organizations might take to protect against some of the dangers.

Lloyd Mayer

March 11, 2023 in Conferences, Paper Presentations and Seminars, Publications – Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hasen: Nonprofit Law as the Tool to Kill What Remains of Campaign Finance Law

Download (1)Richard L. Hasen (UCLA) has posted Nonprofit Law as the Tool to Kill What Remains of Campaign Finance Law: Reluctant Lessons from Ellen Aprill, which will be published in the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review as part of a symposium issue honoring Ellen Aprill (Loyola L.A.). Here is the abstract:

This brief Essay was prepared for a festschrift honoring the work of Professor Ellen Aprill. I explain in the Essay how Professor Aprill’s deep knowledge of nonprofit and tax law and her relentless intellectual honesty leads her (and us) to an unhappy place: a world in which many of the remaining regulations of money in politics could well be struck down as unconstitutional or rendered wholly ineffective by a Supreme Court increasingly hostile to the goals of campaign finance law and extremely solicitous of religious freedom. Just as the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission used the First Amendment rights of nonprofit corporations to open up direct political spending by large, for-profit corporations, additional arguments about the rights of charitable institutions and other nonprofits will be used to push further judicial deregulation of the political process for all.

Professor Aprill in her most recent writings at the intersection of nonprofit law and election law reluctantly shows the way: a path toward getting churches, synagogues and other charitable institutions directly in the business of politics; a means of striking down or rendering ineffective what remains of our campaign disclosure laws; and a self-reinforcing bootstrapping that relies upon legislative and agency inertia coupled with judicially-created loopholes to argue for the ineffectiveness of the system as a whole, triggering its demise through constitutional litigation. It is a sad but expertly told story of regulatory collapse.

Lloyd Mayer

March 11, 2023 in Conferences, Paper Presentations and Seminars, Publications – Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 3, 2023

Kicking the Charitable Contribution Deduction Can Is Undemocratic

Street Smells a 'Kick-the-Can' Deal - Ricks Picks


Since it was first enacted in 1917, the charitable contribution deduction has been amended 11 times, according to a 2020 CRS Report.  There is now pending before Congress a very likely nominee for the 12th change in the deduction's history.  Two of the last four amendments, dating back to 1981, have concerned whether the deduction should be allowed above the line.  The above the line deductions have been miniscule in the grand scheme of things and, it is fair to admit, facilitated cheating precisely because the permitted deductions were so small that they were not worth policing.  Taxpayers could easily enough claim the deduction above the line with confidence that nobody would question the claim.  But the reason why we should tolerate the moral hazard is that above the line deductions are the democratic thing to do.  It spreads the charitable contribution deduction subsidy to non-itemizers, presumably comprising middle and lower income earners.  It allows those earners to have a vote -- miniscule though it may be -- in the selection and operation of charitable missions.  They can vote with their subsidized dollars, the same as the far fewer but much wealthier donors.  

That's why this 12th proposal, though it enjoys bipartisan support, is only kicking the can.  This above the line deduction, too, is only for 2023 and 2024.  Congress should stop kicking and make the above the line deduction permanent.  

From Wednesday's press release:

Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Raphael Warnock (R-GA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today introduced the Charitable Act to expand and extend the expired non-itemized deduction for charitable giving that would ensure Americans who donate to charities, houses of worship, religious organizations, and other nonprofits of their choice are able to deduct that donation from their federal taxes at a higher level than the previous $300 deduction.  

Specifically, the bill would make available to taxpayers, who do not itemize on their tax return, a below-the-line deduction for charitable giving on federal income taxes valued at up to one-third of the standard deduction (around $4,500 for an individual filer and around $9,000 for married joint filers). The standard deductions for tax year 2023 are $13,850 for individual filers and those married filing separately and $27,700 for married joint filers.

You can read the full bill below the fold.


Press Conference Announcing Introduction of the Charitable Act of 2023


darryll jones


Continue reading

March 3, 2023 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Henry Hansmann Enabled George Santos And Other Nonprofit Malefactors: The Agency Costs of the Nondistribution Constraint

Skin-in-the-Game Investing: Why It Matters | USGI


Curious about how far Santos went in abusing nonprofit organizations? I mean look, if you are willing to cheat a dog charity there is really nothing redeeming about you.  Who would cheat a good ol' loyal dog!  If you want to know how the government might eventually charge him for his heartlessness, consider these excerpts from the indictment in United States v. Andrew Gillum; Gillum came within a few percentage points of winning the Florida gubernatorial election five or six years ago but is now defending himself against allegations of Santos-like behavior:

34. GILLUM and LETTMAN-HICKS caused the National Black Justice Coalition ("NBJC"), an entity created pursuant to Title 26, United States Code, Section 501(c)(3), to serve as "fiscal sponsor" and accept the funds from Organizations C and D for the CDLS effort.

35. On or about August 24, 2016, GILLUM sent an email to Organization C which included a project proposal, budget, and supporting documentation. The total proposed budget of $201,552 included $50,000 for the campaign manager, $90,000 for a communications consultant, and $41,412 in overhead, including office rent and administrative costs. The proposed budget did not disclose that funds would be transferred to P&P or be used to pay GILLUM.

37. LETTMAN-HICKS used her position as Executive Director and CEO of the NBJC to divert $50,000 of the funds donated by Organizations C and D. She did so by purchasing a $25,000 cashier's check from NBJC's bank account on March 16, 2017, and another $25,000 cashier's check on May 30, 2017. On those same dates, each cashier's check was deposited in the bank account of P&P [a for-profit entity controlled by Lettman-Hicks.

38. LETTMAN-HICKS then distributed the fraudulently obtained funds to GILLUM, disguised as salary payments from P&P, and in so doing, caused interstate wire communications to occur. 

. . . 

42. In 2018, GILLUM and LETTMAN-HICKS defrauded Individual F of $150,000 of his $250,000 contribution to GILLUM's campaign for Governor of the State of Florida.

43.  The Forward Florida PAC was a type of tax-exempt organization under Title 26, United States Code, Section 527, for the general purpose of advancing GILLUM's political prospects. A Section 527 group is created primarily to influence the selection, nomination, election, appointment, or defeat of candidates to federal, state, or local public office.

. . . 

46.  In May 2018, GILLUM solicited Individual F to contribute money to GILLUM's campaign for Governor and falsely and fraudulently represented to Individual F that the entire contribution would be used for GILLUM's campaign for Governor.

47.  Based upon GILLUM's false representation that the contribution would be used solely for GILLUM's campaign for Governor, Individual F agreed to give a $250,000 contribution for GILLUM's campaign for Governor.

48.  Instead of depositing the funds into the GFG campaign or Forward Florida PAC accounts, the defendants caused the $250,000 to be wired into an account of Organization E, a 50l(c)(4) organization, managed by an acquaintance whom GILLUM and LETTMAN-HICKS could control.

. . . 

51.  Letterman-Hicks then caused Organization E to provide only $100,000 of the $250,000 campaign contribution into the Forward Florida PAC account. LETTMAN-HICKS then obtained the remaining money for P&P by arranging a fraudulent contract with Organization E to allegedly provide services on a voter education program regarding the gubernatorial candidates, knowing that these services would not be performed. Pursuant to the fraudulent contract, P&P obtained $132,500 of Individual F's campaign contribution, which was then disbursed to LETTMAN-HICKS and GILLUM.

These smart guys pretty much follow a game plan they think nobody else knows or will find out about -- set up a nonprofit, use its halo effect to solicit donations (Gillum used the name "National Black Justice Coalition," a name that might have prompted a donation from me) and then funnel donations to the person who thinks himself too smart to get caught.  Really dumb, but for only a small percentage of the wrongdoers no doubt.  For everybody caught, there are probably ten or more people who aren't caught. 

Henry Hansmann is the real evil genius behind the whole thing.  I bet you didn't know that.  Yep, it was Hank who first got us all singing the praises of the nondistribution constraint (NDC).  Have you ever heard such mumble jumble?  Who talks like that at a cocktail party?!  "Well, the kids asked for money and the car keys to go out one night, but they hadn't completed their chores so I imposed a nondistribution constraint on their asses."  The NDC was all good, Hank assured us in The Role of Nonprofit Enterprises, because the NDC (the whole phrase taste like rotten eggs, sour milk and vinegar in my mouth, bleh!) helps "buyers" get what they pay for.  Donors are buyers in economic talk, unknown beneficiaries are the ultimate consumers; donors, not being ultimate consumers, cannot know that the public goods and services they paid for are actually delivered as promised.  The NDC doesn't guarantee that beneficiaries get what donors pay for, but theoretically it lessens the possibility of diversion by removing one temptation -- personal consumption rather than charitable spending.  In some other fashion the NDC is thought to solve the free-rider problem inherent to financing public goods and services.  If Hank ever discussed the NDC's costs, I don't remember and I am not about to go re-read 60 pages of hard core economic porn to find out.  I'd rather get a root canal or a rusty fork poked in my eye.   

But what do you mean costs?  What costs?!  Santos and Gillum prove that the cost of the NDC is that ain't nobody watching.  Nobody has immediate or traceable bottom line financial skin in the game when it comes to nonprofits.  And in Florida, the Attorney General is usually too busy protecting us from African American History, or suing to overturn the election to care.  And what ol Hank might not have told you is that profit is not just useful to spur innovation by the hope of unlimited upside.  Oh no, not just that!  The profit incentive also spurs close monitoring -- it solves or reduces the agency problem. When people have skin in the game, they watch how money is being spent, and people like Santos and Gillum aren't so easily able to disguise their donation-funded foie gras consumption as nonprofit spending.  Nobody has sufficient skin in the nonprofit game to care about close monitoring of the sort needed for Hank's wayward minions.

So.  Thanks a lot Hank!  Always with the jokes that guy.  And if government is unwilling to effectively monitor nonprofit spending, let the capital market do it.  Beef up government supervision of public organizations, or find a happy medium between profit taking and charitable mission.

darryll jones

February 9, 2023 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 27, 2023

Call for Papers (deadline: 3/15/23): 2023 Modern Studies in the Law of Trusts, Wealth Management & Philanthropy Conference

Download (1)I received a call for papers for the fifth conference in the Modern Studies in the Law of Trusts, Wealth Management & Philanthropy series to be held at Yong Pung How School of Law, Singapore Management University on July 27-28, 2023. The deadline is March 15, 2023. Here is the full announcement:

Call for papers for Modern Studies in the Law of Trusts, Wealth Management & Philanthropy 2023

The fifth conference in the “Modern Studies in the Law of Trusts, Wealth Management & Philanthropy” series will take place on 27-28 July 2023 at the Yong Pung How School of Law, Singapore Management University (Singapore). The 2023 conference will be co-organised by Singapore Management University, Centre for Commercial Law in Asia, the University of York, and The Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London.

The theme of the conference is “The Law of Trusts, Wealth Management & Philanthropy: Innovation and Reform in the Law of Trusts”. The conference will focus on current developments and challenges facing trust law, wealth management and philanthropy, with particular focus on the need for innovations responding to contemporary developments and emerging issues – for example, technological disruption, new forms of regulation, climate change and sustainability goals - that impact global families and how they manage their wealth. The conveners of the conference (Richard Nolan (York), Tang Hang Wu (SMU), Yip Man (SMU) and James Lee (KCL)) plan to publish a selection of the papers presented at the conference in a special edition of a journal (subject to review and availability of space).

If you would like to offer a paper, please submit a working title and an abstract (of no more than 1500 words) by 15 March 2023 by email to James Lee ([email protected]) and Yip Man ([email protected]).  The conference conveners are particularly keen to hear from Global South, women and emerging scholars in the field. Acceptance will be on a rolling basis and the conference conveners will be grateful for early submissions. There are no speaker registration fees for those whose papers are accepted this conference. Speakers and attendees are expected to meet their own travel costs and accommodation for this conference.

Lloyd Mayer

January 27, 2023 in Conferences, Paper Presentations and Seminars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 20, 2023

Race and Tax Symposium

The Tentative Schedule includes presentations relating to nonprofit organizations by Leslie, David, Sam and me.



darryll jones

January 20, 2023 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Nonprofits at AALS

Just a quick reminder: a week from today (that is, Thursday, Jan. 5) the Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law section of AALS is having its annual session. The session will be at 8:00 am in the Marriott Grand Ballroom 13. We'll hear excellent scholarship from Tinu Adediran, Phil Hackney, and Jill Horowitz. I hope to see many of you there! 

Samuel D. Brunson

December 29, 2022 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)