Thursday, February 6, 2020
The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and the American Tax Policy Center are jointly sponsoring a conference next week that features a great line-up of speakers to discuss taxes and the future of philanthropy. If you are unable to attend in person, it will be available as a webcast both live and afterwards. Here is the full agenda:
9:30 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
- Ellen P. Aprill, Professor of Law and John E. Anderson Chair in Tax Law, Loyola Law School, Loyola Marymount Universityl; Vice President, American Tax Policy Institute
- Mark J. Mazur, Robert C. Pozen Director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
9:35 a.m. Oversight of Nonprofits
- Karin Kunstler Goldman, Deputy Bureau Chief, Charities Bureau, Office of the New York Attorney General
- Nina Olson, Executive Director, Center for Taxpayer Rights
- Marcus S. Owens, Partner, Loeb & Loeb LLP
- H. Art Taylor, President and CEO, BBB Wise Giving Alliance
- Elizabeth Young, Senior Manager, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (moderator)
11:00 a.m. Impact of the TCJA on Nonprofits
- Joseph J. Cordes, Professor of Economics, Public Policy and Public Administration, and International Affairs, and Codirector, Regulatory Studies Center, George Washington University
- Catherine E. Livingston, Partner, Jones Day
- Ruth M. Madrigal, Principal, KPMG
- Alexander L. Reid, Partner, Morgan Lewis
- Ellen P. Aprill, Professor of Law and John E. Anderson Chair in Tax Law, Loyola Law School, Loyola Marymount University; Vice President, American Tax Policy Institute (moderator)
12:15 p.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. “Trust in Nonprofits and Philanthropy: Why It’s Eroding and What’s Next”
- Stacy Palmer, Editor, Chronicle of Philanthropy
1:15 p.m. The Future of Charitable Giving
- Hillary Bounds, Vice President of Legal, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
- Roger Colinvaux, Director, Law and Public Policy Program, and Professor of Law, Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America
- Jill R. Horwitz, Vice Dean for Faculty and Intellectual Life and Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law
- C. Eugene Steuerle, Institute Fellow, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
- Laura Tomasko, Policy Program Manager, Urban Institute (moderator)
2:30 p.m. Event Concludes
Monday, January 6, 2020
The Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law of the AALS hosted a panel at #AALS2020 on Sunday January 5 entitled Charitable Giving and the 1969 Act: 50 Years Later. Roger Colinvaux of the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law moderated the session. Professor Colinvaux provided an excellent synopsis of the Act and the historical milieu in which it took place. He also did a nice job of presenting the stakes involved then and now.
Dana Brakman Reiser of Brooklyn Law School presented her article in progress Charity Regulation in the Age of Impact. It considers the ways in which the 1969 Tax Reform Act hinders types of investing that Professor Brakman believes are natural fits for private foundations. She explores novel ways of modifying the Act in order to allow private foundations to make more mission related investments (MRIs) and program related investments (PRIs).
Khrista McCarden of Tulane University Law School presented her article in progress on Private Operating Foundation Reform & J. Paul Getty. She argues that private operating foundations that operate as art museums are too often providing little in the way of public benefits because they tend to systematically exclude lower income and minority populations. She also believes these private operating foundations are particularly subject to self-dealing abuses that neither the IRS nor states attorney general respond to in an appropriate way.
Finally, Ray D. Madoff, of Boston College Law School, presented her article in progress The Five Percent Fig Leaf examines some of what she perceives as the failure of the private foundation regime to ensure an appropriate payout amount of five percent from private foundations. She argues the allowance of three types of expenditures to count towards payout is too lenient: administrative expenses (that allow donor children to be paid well into the future for often little work), payments to donor advised funds, and PRIs.
There was active questioning and participation from the audience. These issues clearly resonate at a high level of society. These papers will be published in the Pittsburgh Tax Review in Spring 2020 along with two other papers by Ellen P. Aprill and James J. Fishman The five papers were presented at the University of Pittsburgh on November 1, 2020 as part of a symposium.
Next years AALS will be in San Francisco. I will be the chair this coming year and would be interested in any thoughts on panel ideas for next years session. The theme of the general conference is the Power of Words. Also very interested in highlighting new professors in the field. Would love to put together a new voices panel in addition to a regular panel.
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Loyola Law School (Los Angeles) will be hosting the 23rd Annual Western Conference on Tax-Exempt Organizations on December 5-6. Attendees will be able "to choose from more than 12 sessions on tax developments of critical importance to charities and other nonprofit organizations," with panelists including "officials from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS, plus a variety of prominent West Coast tax lawyers," and Professor and WCTEO founder Ellen Aprill.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
There are many talks of interest upcoming at this year's ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action) annual conference this week, which is being held in San Diego. ARNOVA has long had an active and vibrant "Public Policy, Law, Regulation, and Advocacy” track, with leading international scholars of nonprofit law presenting. Here are a few of the sessions happening tomorrow (Thursday):
Public Policy Impacts on Nonprofits: Barriers, Mandates, Building Capacity to Engage, Chaired by Sasha Zarins (Lilly Family School of Philanthropy), 11 am.
Policy and Legal Constraints on Civil Society and Civic Space: China, Hungary, Israel and Turkey in Comparative Perspective, convened by Mark Sidel (Wisconsin), 2:15.
Closing or Changing Space? The Role of CSOs in Explaining Why Countries Change Laws Governing Civil Society, chaired by Anthony James DeMattee (Indiana), 4 pm
Monday, November 4, 2019
Where are we on the regulation of charity fifty years after Congress passed the Tax Reform Act of 1969? My colleague Tony Infanti and I along with our Pitt Law Students of the Pitt Tax Review hosted six scholars and two practitioners as commenters on Friday November 1 to consider that question. The symposium was entitled The 1969 Tax Reform Act and Charities: Fifty Years Later
Natural questions arise: (1) What was that act’s goal with respect to Charity? With respect to tax? (2) Did it accomplish these goals? (3) Are those goals still relevant today? (4) What goals might suggest themselves today? (5) Do we have the ability to make those changes that are needed? In our conversations we did not answer all of those questions, but we sure tried.
Pittsburgh as a city strikes me as a fit and proper place to ask these questions. Why do I say this? Pittsburgh, city of the rust belt, but also city of Carnegie, Frick, Mellon, Heinz, city of steel, coal, banking, and ketchup and now city of higher ed, tech, and cutting edge health care. It provides the natural and social landscape for investigating private wealth and its philanthropic use. At the beginning of the 20th Century Pittsburgh generated an enormous amount of the GDP of the US particularly through its manufacture of steel. That industrial choice brought great wealth to a few, and supported the careers of many, but also caused great damage to the environment for the long term. Pittsburgh as a city crashed in the 1980s (I have heard different dates, but place it there as that is when many of the steel mills seem to have closed down), and it has struggled to come back from the loss of the steel industry ever since.
However, today the city has transformed itself with Carnegie Mellon and Pitt driving a high tech economy, UPMC engaging in cutting edge health care connected with the University of Pittsburgh, and a robust provision of higher education. It almost surely survived to another day as a result of major philanthropic capital from the robber barron days from the likes of the Mellon, Heinz, Pittsburgh, and Hillman foundations. These private foundations led an effort to clean up the city and transform it into the more vibrant place that it is today.
Congress in the 1969 Tax Reform Act responded to a concern about the type of wealth harnessed in foundations like those in Pittsburgh. In fact, as discussed by Jim Fishman in his presentation about the history of the 1969 Tax Act the Mellon Foundation played a big role. Congress at the time was deeply concerned that wealthy individuals were abusing money put into charitable solution and decided it was important to stop those abuses. These papers consider both the origins of these rules and whether these rules still have relevance today.
The first panel considered the topic of Investing for Charity. Ray Madoff presented The Five Percent Fig Leaf critiquing the five-percent payout rule that the 1969 Tax Act imposed on private foundations. Professor Madoff's paper was paired with Dana Brakman Reiser's contribution Foundation Regulation in Our Age of Impact. Professor Brakman considered the placement of program related investments and mission related investments within the current regulatory context and found the rules wanting in many ways.
The second panel was entitled Origins of Private Foundation Rules and their Meaning for Today. Jim Fishman provided great historical insight leading up to the Act in Does the Origin of the 1969 Private Foundation Rules Suggest a Match for Current Regulatory Needs? Interestingly, Professor Fishman thinks the Act really helped in creating the positive attitude many feel towards private foundations today. He thinks there is a real problem though with smaller private foundations where compliance is likely low. Khrista McCarden focused on a category we had not yet considered that of private operating foundations, which are treated a little better than typical private foundations in her piece entitled Private Operating Foundation Reform & J. Paul Getty. She is concerned about private art museums particularly because of their lack of broad community access.
Finally panel 3 considered Regulating Charitable Actors. Ellen P. Aprill presented The Private Foundation Excise Tax on Self Dealing: Contours, Comparison and Character. It usefully compares the general ethic of the different self-dealing rules that exist within the charitable context particularly that of section 4941 and 4958. However, more interestingly she considers both whether NFIB v. Sebelius might suggest that the 4941 excise tax is a penalty rather than a tax, and whether the tax might be able to serve as a Pigouvian tax. Finally, Elaine Wilson presented her paper Is Consistency Hobgoblin of Little Minds? Co-Investment under Section 4941. The paper focuses on certain PLRs that allow private foundation donors to "co-invest" with their related private foundation, seemingly in violation of the section 4941 self-dealing rule. It then shows why it is valuable from a securities regulation perspective for the private foundations to be provided this leeway from the IRS, and asks why the IRS would have twisted the seemingly clear meanings of the self-dealing exise tax.
I hope to blog about each panel in more depth the rest of this week.
Friday, November 1, 2019
Just a reminder: today is Pittsburgh Law's symposium "The 1969 Tax Act and Charities: Fifty Years Later."
It looks like a spectacular program. And for those of us who can't make it in person, we're in luck: the symposium will be live-streamed here.
It starts at 9:15 am Eastern time. I look forward to learning more about the last half-century of tax and charities.
Samuel D. Brunson
Monday, October 28, 2019
By: Philip Hackney
The University of Pittsburgh School of Law's Pittsburgh Tax Review hosts a symposium this Friday November 1, 2019 entitled: "The 1969 Tax Reform Act and Charities: Fifty Years Later.” It will offer experts in the taxation of charities, and those working in the nonprofit field, the opportunity to reflect upon and discuss the impact of the changes made by the 1969 Tax Reform Act 50 years after the law’s enactment. It will be held at The University Club in the Gold Room, located at 123 University Place on Pitt's campus. You can RSVP here. If you are in the area, please join us.
The event is free and open to the public. CLE of 4.5 hours is available for $90. It will be livestreamed at this youtube link.
Here is the schedule and the speakers:
8-9 Registration/continental breakfast
9 – 9:15 Introduction
Panel 1: Investing for Charity 9:15 – 10:45
Ray Madoff, The Five Percent Fig Leaf
Dana Brakman Reiser, Foundation Regulation in Our Age of Impact
Commenter: Carolyn D. Duronio, Partner, Reed Smith LLP
10:45 -11 Break
Panel 2 Origins of Private Foundation Rules and their Meaning for Today 11 – 12:30
Jim Fishman, Does the Origin of the 1969 Private Foundation Rules Suggest a Match for Current Regulatory Needs?
Khrista McCarden, Private Operating Foundation Reform & J. Paul Getty.
Commenter: Penina K. Lieber, Partner of Counsel, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Panel 3 Regulating Charitable Actors 1:30 -3:00
Ellen P. Aprill, The Private Foundation Excise Tax on Self Dealing: Contours, Comparison and Character
Elaine Waterhouse Wilson, Is Consistency the Hobgoblin of Little Minds? Co-Investment under Section 4941
Commenter: Philip Hackney, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Friday, October 4, 2019
The International Society for Third-Sector Research is calling for contributions for its 2020 biennial conference, to be held in Montreal on July 7-10. The deadline is October 26th. As detailed in the Call for Contributions, submission can be in the form an individual submit an abstract for a paper or poster or in the form of a joint proposal with others for a panel or roundtable. My understanding is that panel submissions are particularly encouraged and tend to have a higher rate of acceptance than individual submissions. I am chairing the "Challenges and Opportunities of Advocacy and Campaigning in an Era of 'Fake News'" track for the conference, and so would particularly encourage submissions relating to this track. See the Call for Contributions for the other tracks.
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Following up on my earlier post, I was fortunate enough to be able to discuss last week the various legal barriers to cross-border philanthropy in Europe with some of the leading practitioners, academics, and organization leaders from that continent in connection with the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) biennial conference. My detailed reflections are available on the Alliance website, so I will just say here that it is a time of both threat and promise for European philanthropy. The threat is that some countries are enacting new laws targeting cross-border philanthropy, which add to existing barriers relating to legal form and taxation. The promise is that supporters of philanthropy have two new initiatives to rally around: the European Philanthropy Manifesto issued by the Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (DAFNE) and the European Foundation Centre (EFC) earlier this year; and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)'s recent opinion "European Philanthropy: an untapped potential" (the EESC is a consultative body of the European Union). Hopefully these developments, and opportunities such as the event I attended that provide an opportunity to discuss new developments, will help ensure a strong enabling environment for philanthropy in Europe for many years to come.
Monday, June 24, 2019
I am off to Basel, Switzerland next week for an event focusing on Legal Barriers to Cross-Border Philanthropy in Europe. (I know, the hard life of an academic.) I helped organize the event along with Oonagh Breen (University College Dublin) and Hanna Surmatz (European Foundation Centre (EFC)). The event will be held the afternoon before the biennial European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) conference at the University of Basel. It is particularly timely because of two significant European philanthropy developments earlier this year: the release by the European Economic and Social Committee of an opinion titled European Philanthropy: An Untapped Potential; and the publication by EFC and the Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (DAFNE) of a European Philanthropy Manifesto. These two developments reportedly have created new momentum among policymakers to address the barriers to philanthropy in Europe, including philanthropy across borders.
Here is the current program for the event:
13:00-14:15: Session One: European Regulatory Measures
Oonagh B. Breen, UCD Sutherland School of Law (moderator)
Dominque Jakob, Universität Zürich
Wino Van Veen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
14:30-15:45: Session Two: Taxation
Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, University of Notre Dame (moderator)
Anne-Laure Paquot, Transnational Giving Europe
Giedre Lideikyte-Huber, Université de Genève
Hanna Surmatz, European Foundation Centre
16:00-17:15: Session Three: Emerging Issues
Hanna Surmatz, European Foundation Centre (moderator)
Francesca Fanucci, European Center for Not-for-Profit Law
Isabel Peñalosa-Esteban, Spanish Association of Foundations
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
CALL FOR PAPERS
AALS SECTION ON NONPROFIT AND PHILANTHROPY LAW
SESSION 2020 ANNUAL MEETING
Nonprofits & Philanthropy
The AALS Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law announces a call for papers to be presented as works-in-progress in our committee session at the 2020 AALS Annual Meeting in Washington DC from January 2-5, 2020. The panel will be held on Sunday, January 5th, 2020 from 10:30-12:00.
The Section seeks submissions on a variety of topics and methodological approaches related to Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law. We are especially interested in receiving submissions from new and junior academics or scholars who have not previously written in the field.
Eligibility: Scholars teaching at AALS member or nonmember fee-paid schools
Due Date: Friday, August 24, 2019
Form and Content of Submission: Submissions may range from early drafts to articles that have been submitted for publication, but not articles that will have already been published by January 6, 2020.
Submission Method: please submit papers electronically in Microsoft Word format to email@example.com "AALS Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Submission" in the email subject line.
Submission Review: Papers will be selected for inclusion in the program after review by members of the AALS Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law.
Additional Information: Unfortunately, the section is not able to provide any funding to presenters, who will be responsible for their own expenses. If you have any questions, please contact Melanie Leslie at Leslie@yu.edu.
Friday, April 5, 2019
It's not too late for ARNOVA members to submit a proposal for the annual November conference, taking place in San Diego this year. (Member deadline is April 9). The conference theme this year is Nonprofits and Philanthropy in a Polarized World: Speaking Truth to Power and Using Power to Speak Truth. It's always an interesting, interdisciplinary conversation. Hope to see you in San Diego. https://www.arnova.org/page/upcomingconferences
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
The Nonprofit Management Program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies is presenting its next Master Class in the program's Professional Development Series on November 15, 2018: "Charities Regulation on the International Front: Emerging Issues in Globalization."
A description of the program:
Regulation and enforcement in the charitable sector are increasingly global in scope. Whether addressing cross-border charitable solicitation, oversight issues within religiously based organizations, terrorism concerns, money laundering, or the burgeoning technological platforms that enable new and expanded reach for these activities internationally, charities regulators are on the front lines of some of the most cutting-edge international legal issues. Join us for a deep-dive discussion with our panel of experts discussing the new globalized context of charities regulation.
James G. Sheehan, Chief, Charities Bureau, New York State Attorney General's Office
Marcus S. Owens Partner, Loeb & Loeb, Former Director, Exempt Organizations Division of the Internal Revenue Service
Moderator: Cindy M. Lott, Esq., Academic Director, Nonprofit Management Programs and Senior Lecturer'
Saturday, September 29, 2018
The long-planned Single Portal for state charity registration just went live for the first two pilot states, Connecticut and Georgia. A second cohort of at least five states is expected to join them by January 2019, according to the website's FAQs. The site is operated by the Multistate Registration and Filing Portal, Inc., which is described as a section 501(c)(3) organization that is also an instrumentality of government formed by state charity officials. I assume not coincidentally, the site went live just before this year's National Association of Attorneys General/National Associate of State Charity Officials conference in Baltimore, scheduled for October 1st thru 3rd. The agenda for Monday, which is open to the public, is available here.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) has extended to February 28 its call for proposals for its June 2018 ARNOVA-Asia Conference in Hong Kong. From the conference website:
We are calling for papers that advance the theoretical understanding of factors activating and shaping the changing dynamic between government and the third sector, and the implications of the change for public governance and the sector’s development. We encourage diverse theoretical approaches and methodologies including both qualitative and quantitative research; and also studies with a focus at the individual, organizational or sectoral levels. As we strive to bridge the academic and professional communities in the study and practice of nonprofits and philanthropy, we also welcome proposals for professional exchange sessions by practitioners which address the opportunities and challenges they face amid the changing government-third sector relations. For these practitioner-oriented sessions, innovative modes of presentation and discussion are encouraged; they may be short presentations on case studies to provoke thoughts and discussions, panel discussions of best practices, or provocative talks. Roundtable sessions in which academics and practitioners share their views and experiences of seizing the opportunities and meeting the challenges are also welcomed.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
As reported in the October 23rd edition of Tax Notes, IRS is now reviewing tax-exempt hospitals to ensure their compliance with the §501(r) regulations issued in 2015. At the American Health Lawyers Association meeting on October 19th, a tax law specialist in the IRS Tax-Exempt and Government Entities Division Reviews conveyed that the IRS is uncovering compliance issues regarding the financial assistance policy (FAP) and community health needs assessment requirements. Agents also are inquiring as to whether patients eligible under the hospital's FAP are not excessively billed. In addition, the tax law specialist reported non-contact reviews taking place in 2014 to 2016 resulted in several hundred examinations, most from the absence of required documents on the hospital's website. The specialist also revealed that unrelated business income and excess benefit transactions were also sources for examinations.
(Hat tip: Fred Stokeld at Tax Notes)
Friday, August 18, 2017
This year’s NASCO Conference will be held in Washington D.C. at the Westin Washington, D.C. City Center and will run from October 2 – 4. Monday’s session is open to the public and provides an opportunity for representatives of the nonprofit sector and members of the public to meet and participate in discussions with state regulators. Tuesday and Wednesday are for regulators only, providing significant opportunity for state charity regulators to discuss the latest topics and learn from each other.
The theme for this year’s conference is “The Impact of Technology on Charities Regulation.” The agenda for both the public day and the regulator only days will offer a mix of presentations by state regulators and speakers from the non-profit sector addressing this theme and other recent developments affecting state charitable regulation.
The session on Monday will include discussions on crowdfunding and improving communication between charities regulators and the charitable sector. We will conclude Tuesday’s regulator-only session with a networking social hour and dinner, followed by the NASCO business meeting. Finally, the regulator-only portion of the conference will wrap up on Wednesday morning with discussions on developing enforcement actions and multistate priorities for the coming year.
Monday, July 24, 2017
The date for the Joint TE/GE Council Meeting has been announced.
The TE/GE Councils were formed to maintain lines of communication between practitioners and the IRS TE/GE Division (and related areas) to:
- open and maintain lines of communication between the TE/GE Division (the “Division”) of the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) and the practitioner community within the regional area,
- provide the Division with the thinking of the practitioner community on procedural and systemic matters,
- provide practitioners a forum to share their concerns with the IRS regarding both policies and specific tax issues and procedures, and
- educate the practitioner community.
The Councils work with the IRS TE/GE Division (and related areas) to accomplish these goals. Each of the five regional councils includes two subgroups: exempt organizations and employee plans. Programs are open to the public.
Friday, June 23, 2017
The study of nonprofits goes well beyond the laws governing them, and there are a number of publications and organizations dedicated to that study. Here is a sampling of both recent articles and upcoming conferences from this broader academic space (the logo shown here is from the Indiana University-Purdue University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, which is hosting the first conference listed):
RECENT ARTICLES (click through to see tables of contents for these publications)
Nonprofit Academic Centers Council Biennial Conference, Indianapolis, July 31-August 2
Science of Philanthropy Initiative, Chicago, September 6-7, 2017
Comparing Third Sector Expansions Workshop, New York, October 4-7, 2017
ARNOVA Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, November 16-18, 2017
International Society for Third-Sector Research Conference, Amsterdam, July 10-13, 2018
Friday, March 3, 2017
FTC & NASCO Will be Hosting a Conference to Discuss Consumer Protection and Charitable Giving: March 21
The Federal Trade Commission and the National Association of State Charities Officials will be hosting a conference to bring together various stakeholders to discuss charitable solicitation and consumer protection. It will take place all day on March 21, 2017, at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, DC 20024. From the event website:
The event will bring together leading stakeholders -- regulators, researchers, practitioners, charity watchdogs, donor advocates, and members of the nonprofit sector. Discussions will focus on consumer protection concerns in the sector, including available data on donor expectations and perceptions, deceptive fundraising practices, the regulatory and enforcement environment, and new charitable giving options...
The conference is free and the first day is open to the public.
See you there!