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News & Announcements

Legal Counsel for Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector

Information and resources on nonprofit law & regulation

Tax-Exempt Organization News

IRS Sets End Date of March 31, 2020 for 403(b) Plan Amendments. For more information, read IRS Revenue Procedure 2017-18 and refer to the IRS website about self-correcting 403(b) plans.

IRS announces that data from approved Forms 1023-EZ is now available online. Read the IRS announcement. For more information and to access the data, refer to the IRS website for Form 1023-EZ approvals.

IRS releases updated, interactive Form 990-EZ. Read the IRS announcement and review the interactive Form 990-EZ.

IRS requires social welfare organizations to notify it of intent to operate under IRC Section 501(c)(4). The new requirement, which involves electronic filing of Form 8976 with the IRS within 60 days of organizing, applies to all 501(c)(4) organizations formed after July 8, 2016. Some 501(c)(4) organizations formed before this date are also required to file the form. Refer to Revenue Procedure 2016-41 for details about the form and possible exemptions for organizations that existed on or before July 8, 2016.

IRS decreases user fee for IRS Form 1023-EZ filers. The user fee for Forms 1023-EZ filed on or after July 1, 2016 has been reduced to $275. Refer to Revenue Procedure 2016-32.

IRS releases final regulations regarding good faith equivalency determinations. Among other changes, the final regulations expand the class of advisors who can provide these determinations to include CPAs and enrolled agents. For more information, read the final regulations at the Federal Register, an explanation of the regulations by the Council on Foundations, and our article on international grantmaking for private foundations.

IRS releases guidance on investments made by a private foundation that further its charitable purposes. The IRS has indicated such investments will not be subject to tax under IRC Section 4944 (Jeopardizing Investments) if managers have exercised ordinary business care and prudence in making them. For more information, read IRS Notice 2015-62 and The Chronicle of Philanthropy's article on the IRS notice and impact investing.

Taxpayer Advocate Service releases a special report to Congress regarding political activity and the rights of applicants for tax-exempt status. Read the report.

Florida updates its Solicitation of Funds statutes, effective July 1, 2014. For more information, refer to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' website. Read the text of the bill at the Florida Senate's website.

IRS releases new exemption application for small nonprofit organizations. For more information, read the IRS press release and refer to Revenue Procedure 2014-40.

Nevada passes legislation requiring nonprofit corporations to register before soliciting funds in the state. For more information, read the text of the bill and refer to the Secretary of State's website regarding charitable solicitations.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) now requires that the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) be filed online annually. The report must be filed on or before June 30th each year using FinCEN Form 114 (formerly Form TD F 90-22.1). U.S.-based nonprofits with financial accounts located outside the U.S. should check the IRS website and FinCEN for details.

Delaware proposes legislation to implement stricter charitable solicitation laws. For more information refer to Delaware's website and the full text of the proposed bill.

Office of Management and Budget releases final guidance that raises the single audit (A-133) threshold to $750,000 effective January 1, 2015. Read the final guidance for more information.

Florida considers legislation to overhaul its charitable solicitation laws. Read the proposed bills: Senate Bill 638 and House Bill 629 and a summary in the Nonprofit Quarterly.

IRS releases new details on how to apply for reinstatement of tax-exempt status. For more information, read a summary article by Attorney Anne Rosenthal, and refer to the IRS fact sheet and Revenue Procedure 2014-11 which explains the four procedures an organization may use to apply for reinstatement.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the Non-Profit Revitalization Act of 2013 into law. For more information read a summary by Attorney Tracey Bolotnick, the details of the bill here, and the Report of the Leadership Committee For Nonprofit Revitalization.

IRS Issues Numerous News Releases Regarding Hurricane Sandy and Disaster Relief and Recovery. For more information including news releases regarding qualified disaster relief payments and expedited processing of disaster relief organization applications for tax exemption, refer to the IRS news releases.

IRS Issues Questionnaire to Group Ruling Parent Organizations. For more information and to view a sample questionnaire, refer to the IRS webpage on the topic.

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations to Broaden Range of Professionals Qualfied to make Equivalency Determinations. Read the proposed regulations.

IRS Advisory Committee on Tax-Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) Recommends Changes to Application for Tax-Exempt Status (Form 1023). Read about these recommendations in the committee's report.

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations to Incorporate New Examples of Program Related Investments. Read about the specifics on the Federal Register website.

District of Columbia Overhauls 1962 Nonprofit Corporation Code. To learn more about these amendments, read the DC BAR Pro Bono Program's summary of the Nonprofit Corporation Code.

Are nonprofit news sites tax-exempt? The IRS has delayed reaching a decision regarding tax-exempt status for a few sites that submitted applications in 2010. Read the article.

New York Attorney General announces plan to reform the nonprofit sector. Proposed changes include eliminating pre-approvals for incorporation, simplifying merger and dissolution procedures, and increased regulations regarding executive compensation and financial audits. Read the Attorney General's announcement and the Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization's report.

Massachusetts Data Security Law Requirements. New regulations require the adoption and implementation of data privacy policies. Read about the regulations and implications for nonprofit organizations.

Supreme Court opinion changes rules for 501(c) organizations engaging in partisan political activities. Read about the changes and the impacts on nonprofits in this article by Tracey Bolotnick.

Access to endowments eased for Massachusetts nonprofits with passage of UPMIFA. Read about the changes and the impacts on nonprofits in this article by Tracey Bolotnick. Read a summary of this bill allowing nonprofits to tap into endowments. Read the language of the Massachusetts UPMIFA bill on the Massachusetts legislative website. For more information on UPMIFA, refer to www.upmifa.org.

IRS Extends Plan Document Requirement for 403(b) Plans to 2010. Read the details of the extension and the IRS notice (IRS Notice 2009-3).

IRS begins compliance project for colleges and universities. Read the details of the program on the IRS Compliance Project webpage.

IRS eliminates advance ruling period for Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Read the details on the IRS website and the temporary IRS Regulations.

IRS issues regulations imposing certain documentation requirements on the 403(b) retirement plans of tax-exempt entities. Read about the regulatory changes. Read about 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity Plans on the IRS website.

IRS completes revised instructions for redesigned Form 990 to be used for tax year 2008. Read the details about the revised Form 990 and the instructions as well as the chronological history.

IRS issues temporary regulations regarding the new filing requirement, Form 990-N, for small nonprofits. Read about the Form 990-N. Read the IRS temporary regulations.

IRS issues memorandum regarding political campaign activity on the internet by nonprofits. Read the memorandum about political campaign activities on the internet. Read about the IRS' Political Activities Compliance Initiative.

Congress considers changes to tax rules regarding gifts of art. Read articles in The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The New York Times.

New tax laws result in the growth of the number of small foundations. Read "Tax Laws Popularize the Small Foundation" in The New York Times, June 7, 2008.

Nonprofit organizations face challenges in corporate fundraising. Read "Charities Seek Donors to Replace Wall Street" in The New York Times.

Charities and social entrepreneurs discover the benefits of for profit status and financing. Read "A Capitalist Jolt for Charity" in The New York Times.

Universities and other nonprofit institutions facing rising debt costs. Read about the impact of the bond market implosion and higher financing costs in the Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal.

IRS releases guidance on political advocacy regulations. Read Revenue Ruling 2007-41.

Congress considers lobbying reforms that may impact nonprofit organizations. Read the bill summary by the Center for Media & Democracy, the full text of the legislation at GovTrack, and a discussion of the legislation by Independent Sector.

U.S. Treasury releases Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines for Nonprofits. Read the "Voluntary Best Practices for U.S.-Based Charities"

Pension Protection Act, containing provisions affecting exempt organizations, donor advised funds, signed into law. Read the summary of provisions on the IRS website, IRS Notice 2006-109, and an analysis by Independent Sector.

American Bar Association Names Jeffrey Hurwit Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer. Read the Award Announcement.

IRS Issues Numerous News Releases Regarding Hurricane Sandy and Disaster Relief and Recovery. For more information including news releases regarding qualified disaster relief payments and expedited processing of disaster relief organization applications for tax exemption, refer to the IRS news releases.

IRS Issues Questionnaire to Group Ruling Parent Organizations. For more information and to view a sample questionnaire, refer to the IRS webpage on the topic.

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations to Broaden Range of Professionals Qualfied to make Equivalency Determinations. Read the proposed regulations.

IRS Advisory Committee on Tax-Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) Recommends Changes to Application for Tax-Exempt Status (Form 1023). Read about these recommendations in the committee's report.

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations to Incorporate New Examples of Program Related Investments. Read about the specifics on the Federal Register website.

District of Columbia Overhauls 1962 Nonprofit Corporation Code. To learn more about these amendments, read the DC BAR Pro Bono Program's summary of the Nonprofit Corporation Code.

Are nonprofit news sites tax-exempt? The IRS has delayed reaching a decision regarding tax-exempt status for a few sites that submitted applications in 2010. Read the article.

New York Attorney General announces plan to reform the nonprofit sector. Proposed changes include eliminating pre-approvals for incorporation, simplifying merger and dissolution procedures, and increased regulations regarding executive compensation and financial audits. Read the Attorney General's announcement and the Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization's report.

Massachusetts Data Security Law Requirements. New regulations require the adoption and implementation of data privacy policies. Read about the regulations and implications for nonprofit organizations.

Supreme Court opinion changes rules for 501(c) organizations engaging in partisan political activities. Read about the changes and the impacts on nonprofits in this article by Tracey Bolotnick.

Access to endowments eased for Massachusetts nonprofits with passage of UPMIFA. Read about the changes and the impacts on nonprofits in this article by Tracey Bolotnick. Read a summary of this bill allowing nonprofits to tap into endowments. Read the language of the Massachusetts UPMIFA bill on the Massachusetts legislative website. For more information on UPMIFA, refer to www.upmifa.org.

IRS Extends Plan Document Requirement for 403(b) Plans to 2010. Read the details of the extension and the IRS notice (IRS Notice 2009-3).

IRS begins compliance project for colleges and universities. Read the details of the program on the IRS Compliance Project webpage.

IRS eliminates advance ruling period for Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Read the details on the IRS website and the temporary IRS Regulations.

IRS issues regulations imposing certain documentation requirements on the 403(b) retirement plans of tax-exempt entities. Read about the regulatory changes. Read about 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity Plans on the IRS website.

IRS completes revised instructions for redesigned Form 990 to be used for tax year 2008. Read the details about the revised Form 990 and the instructions as well as the chronological history.

IRS issues temporary regulations regarding the new filing requirement, Form 990-N, for small nonprofits. Read about the Form 990-N. Read the IRS temporary regulations.

IRS issues memorandum regarding political campaign activity on the internet by nonprofits. Read the memorandum about political campaign activities on the internet. Read about the IRS' Political Activities Compliance Initiative.

Congress considers changes to tax rules regarding gifts of art. Read articles in The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The New York Times.

New tax laws result in the growth of the number of small foundations. Read "Tax Laws Popularize the Small Foundation" in The New York Times, June 7, 2008.

Nonprofit organizations face challenges in corporate fundraising. Read "Charities Seek Donors to Replace Wall Street" in The New York Times.

Charities and social entrepreneurs discover the benefits of for profit status and financing. Read "A Capitalist Jolt for Charity" in The New York Times.

Universities and other nonprofit institutions facing rising debt costs. Read about the impact of the bond market implosion and higher financing costs in the Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal.

IRS releases guidance on political advocacy regulations. Read Revenue Ruling 2007-41.

Congress considers lobbying reforms that may impact nonprofit organizations. Read the bill summary by the Center for Media & Democracy, the full text of the legislation at GovTrack, and a discussion of the legislation by Independent Sector.

U.S. Treasury releases Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines for Nonprofits. Read the "Voluntary Best Practices for U.S.-Based Charities"

Pension Protection Act, containing provisions affecting exempt organizations, donor advised funds, signed into law. Read the summary of provisions on the IRS website, IRS Notice 2006-109, and an analysis by Independent Sector.

American Bar Association Names Jeffrey Hurwit Outstanding Nonprofit Lawyer. Read the Award Announcement.

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Nonprofit Law Seminars

Recent Nonprofit Law Seminars and Webcasts

New Overtime Law: How Does This Affect My Organization? on Thursday, October 13, 2016. Led by Elizabeth S. Reinhardt, Of Counsel. Sponsored by Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and College for Social Innovation.

Issues and Pitfalls in Nonprofit Collaborations and Mergers on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Led by Jeffrey M. Hurwit. Sponsored by Tech Networks of Boston.

Starting a Nonprofit Organization on Thursday, April 14, 2016. Led by Daniel A. Hershey. Sponsored by Foundation for MetroWest.

Nonprofit Law - Current Legal Issues on Thursday, September 19, 2013. Led by Attorney Jeffrey M. Hurwit. Sponsored by Massachusetts Society of CPAs.

10 Items that Can Get Your Association in Legal Trouble on Wednesday, June 14, 2013. Led by Tracey J. Bolotnick. Sponsored by New England Society of Association Executives.

Nonprofit Law: Legal and Governance Issues for NGOs Worldwide (webcast) on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Led by Jeffrey M. Hurwit. Sponsored by Nonprofit Webinars. A recording of the presenation along with a slide deck is available at Nonprofit Law: Legal and Governance Issues for NGOs Worldwide.

Social Entrepreneurship Series: Lawyers and their Participation in the Entrepreneurial Process on Wednesday, October 10, 2012. Sponsored by Boston University School of Law. Led by Attorney Marion Fremont-Smith with Attorneys Jeffrey Hurwit and Tobias Lederberg.

Starting a Nonprofit Organization (webcast) on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. Led by Daniel A. Hershey. Sponsored by Nonprofit Webinars. A recording of the presentation along with a slide deck is available at Nonprofit Webinars: Starting a Nonprofit Organization.

Starting a Nonprofit Organization (webcast) on Thursday, September 15, 2011. Led by Daniel A. Hershey. Sponsored by ReadyTalk.

The Top 5 Legal Trends for Nonprofits (webcast) on Tuesday, November 16, 2010. Led by Attorney, Jeffrey M. Hurwit. Sponsored by ReadyTalk.

Becoming an Established 501(c)(3) Organization in Albany, NY on Friday, November 5, 2010. Led by Attorney, Tracey Bolotnick. Sponsored by National Alliance on Mental Illness - NYS.

Starting a Nonprofit Organization in Newton, MA on Wednesday, June 23, 2010 from 7-8:30pm. Sponsored by Newton Free Library.

Nonprofit Law: Legal and Governance Issues for NGOs Worldwide (webcast) on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. Sponsored by World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO). View the recorded presentation.

Nonprofit Law - Current Legal & Governance Issues in Framingham, MA on Friday, November 13, 2009. Sponsored by Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and Associated Grant Makers.

From Liquor Liability to Unrelated Business Income Tax: Legal Concerns in the Use of Museum Facilities in Nashua, NH on November 12, 2009. Sponsored by New England Museum Association.

Nonprofit Governance: Legal and Practical Issues in Brookline, MA on October 29, 2009. Sponsored by Greater Boston Choral Consortium.

Current Legal Issues for Nonprofit Organizations at Suffolk University Law School on September 11, 2009. Sponsored by Advanced Legal Studies, Suffolk University Law School.

Strategic Alliances: A Primer for Nonprofit Agencies at UMass Boston on June 15, 2009. Sponsored by Associated Grant Makers.

Who Owns What...and How to Protect Yourself in Boston, MA on March 26, 2009. Sponsored by Nonprofit Consultants Network.

Drinking in Museums - Liability and Legal Issues in Warwick, RI on November 12, 2008. Sponsored by New England Museum Association.

Thriving in a Changing Landscape: Finance and Regulations in Boston, MA on September 26, 2008. Sponsored by Associated Grant Makers.

Getting Engaged in Social Entrepreneurship, in Boston, MA on November 2, 2007. Sponsored by Boston University School of Management.

Starting a Nonprofit Organization, in Great Barrington, MA on May 24, 2007. Sponsored by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

The Nonprofit Entrepreneur: Commercial Ventures for Nonprofits, in Waltham, MA on July 12, 2006. Sponsored by Massachusetts Service Alliance.

Starting a Nonprofit Organization, in Great Barrington, MA on March 23, 2006. Sponsored by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Nonprofit Law: Governance and the Critical Concept of "Stewardship" for Boards of Directors, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on November 18, 2005. Sponsored by World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO).

Nonprofit Governance: An Introduction to Current Legal and Ethical Issues, in Burlington, MA on November 16, 2005. Sponsored by New England Museum Association. (Seminar Materials)

Legal Issues for Private Foundations, in Boston, MA on September 29, 2005. Sponsored by Association of Small Foundations.

A Common Sense Approach to Conflict of Interest Policies, in Boston, MA on June 14, 2005. Sponsored by Associated Grantmakers of Massachusetts.

Nonprofit Law: Current Legal & Governance Issues, in Boston, MA on May 17, 2005. Sponsored by Third Sector New England.

Nonprofit Law: Critical Issues & Common Questions, in Boston, MA on April 5, 2005. Sponsored by Technical Development Corporation.

The Nonprofit Entrepreneur: Current Legal & Organizational Issues, in Framingham, MA on March 31, 2005. Sponsored by Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers.

Nonprofit Law: Current Legal & Governance Issues, in Worcester, MA on March 8, 2005. Sponsored by Massachusetts Service Alliance.

Nonprofit Law: Current Legal & Governance Issues, in Portland, ME on February 9, 2005. Sponsored by Maine Association of Nonprofits.

Hurwit & Associates - Nonprofit Law Seminars

Hurwit & Associates is pleased to offer seminars on various topics pertaining to nonprofit law. Our list of seminar topics includes:

  • The Nonprofit Entrepreneur: Commercial Activities for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Liability Issues for Nonprofit Organizations: Risks, Protections and Prevention
  • Nonprofit Governance: Legal Standards and Sound Practices
  • A Common Sense Approach to Conflict of Interest Policies
  • Current Legal Issues for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Tax, Legal & Ethical Issues for Foundation Trustees and Staff
  • Starting a Nonprofit: Legal Process and Practical Considerations
  • Emerging Philanthropic Vehicles
  • Stewardship and Donor Intent: A Primer for Foundation Trustees

If your organization or association is looking for guest speakers and would like to talk with us about possible topics, please contact us.

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