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News & Announcements Draft

Legal Counsel for Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector

Information and resources on nonprofit law & regulation

Tax-Exempt Organization News


Massachusetts SJC Rules that the Volunteer Protection Act Provides Qualified Immunity from Suit for Volunteers in Lynch v Crawford. Read more about this ruling which determined that the Volunteer Protection Act and, hence, the Massachusetts charitable immunity statute under MGL c. 231, Sec. 85W entitles volunteer directors, officers and trustees qualified immunity from suit as well as from liability.

As of January 31, 2020, the IRS requires that Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, be completed and submitted through  Pay.govApplicants must have a Pay.gov account and payment of the user fee must be made electronically. There is a 90-day grace period during which the IRS will continue to accept paper versions of Form 1023. Learn more about IRS Form 1023.

IRS Changes Donor Reporting Requirements for 501(c)(4) Civic Organizations, 501(c)(5) Labor Organizations, 501(c)(6) Business Leagues, and other Exempt Organizations. The IRS published Revenue Procedure 2018-38 which eliminates the need for many federally tax-exempt organizations to disclose the names of their large donors on their annual Form 990. The change, effective for fiscal years ending on or after December 31, 2018, does not apply to 501(c)(3) organizations or Section 527 political organizations. For more information, read the full Revenue Procedure 2018-38.

IRS no longer requires new application for exemption when a nonprofit restructures under an existing EIN. Read our article about this recent change and contact Attorney Anne Rosenthal for more information.

New IRS Database for Exempt Organizations. The IRS has released a new and freely available database called “Tax Exempt Organization Search”. This replaces the pre-existing “Select Check”. In addition to providing information regarding the tax-exempt status of nonprofit organizations, the new database includes copies of IRS determination letters (eventually including all letters issued since 2014) and copies of Forms 990 (990, 990-EZ, 990-PF and 990-T).

EU’s GDPR set to take effect May 25th, 2018. Learn how your nonprofit organization may be affected by this new data protection law. Read the guidance from the Institute of Fundraising, including a 10 Step Action Plan.

IRS reviewing comments on IRS Notice 2017-73 which would significantly change the regulation of Donor Advised Funds. Read IRS Notice 2017-73 which would impact distributions from DAFs that fulfill a pledge made by the donor or pay for tickets for the donor to attend a charity-sponsored event. It would also significantly change public support calculations for charities such that distributions from DAFs would be treated as an indirect contribution of the donor or donors who funded the DAF. Such gifts would therefore be subject to the 2-percent public support limitation.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1. Read an analysis of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and its impact on the nonprofit sector by the National Council of Nonprofits.


Nonprofit Law Seminars

Upcoming Nonprofit Law Webcast 

*New* Soliciting, Negotiating, and Managing Restricted Gifts and Endowment Funds on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Led by Janet M. Rickershauser. Sponsored by NonprofitWebAdvisor.

Recent Nonprofit Law Seminars and Webcasts 

Social Impact Investing: Opportunities and Risks for Nonprofits on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. Led by Janet M. Rickershauser. Sponsored by NonprofitWebAdvisor.

Raffles, Co-Ventures, Crowdfunding & Beyond: Legal Issues with Common Fundraising Methods on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. Led by  Elizabeth S. Reinhardt, Of Counsel and Christopher T. Leigh-Manuell. Sponsored by NonprofitWebAdvisor.

Raffles, Co-Ventures and Crowdfunding, Oh My! on Wednesday October 16, 2019. Led by Elizabeth S. Reinhardt, Of Counsel and Christopher T. Leigh-Manuell. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.

2019 Nonprofit Bootcamp on June 6, 2019. Led by Elizabeth S. Reinhardt, Of Counsel and Christopher T. Leigh-Manuell. Sponsored by the Metrowest Nonprofit Network.

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.

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.

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

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).

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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