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White House Announces MRI/PRI Guidance with a Focus on Climate Change and the Environment

On June 16, 2015, the White House issued a press release highlighting private sector commitments and a series of executive actions related to investment in clean energy innovation.  The release coincided with yesterday’s clean energy investment summit, at which Vice President Joe Biden described more than $4 billion of independent commitments by major foundations, institutional investors, and other long-term investors to fund climate change solutions, including innovative technologies with the potential to reduce carbon pollution.

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Attorney General Issues Audit Committee Guidance

The New York Attorney General has issued guidance about the audit oversight requirements under the Non-Profit Revitalization Act.  The AG’s Guidance—issued without fanfare by the Charities Bureau on February 24—will be of interest to most charities that are required to register to conduct charitable solicitations in New York.

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Tax Reform Act of 2014 and the Charitable Deduction

Representative Dave Camp, the current chair of the House Ways and Means Committee (the “Committee”), introduced a discussion draft of the Tax Reform Act of 2014 (the “Camp Bill”) on February 26, 2014.  Although it is widely predicted that the Camp Bill will not pass, exempt organizations should still examine it closely, because it is emblematic of a new trend in legislative proposals dealing with tax reform.

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IRS Restructuring Update

As we reach Day 500 of the IRS Section 501(c)(4) controversy (with a shout out to the Tax Prof Blog for keeping count), the IRS is continuing to implement restructuring of the Tax Exempt and Governmental Entities Division (“TE/GE”).  In a statement made on September 9, 2014, the IRS announced that the current Office of Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel (TE/GE) will be split into two offices:  the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (TE/GE), which will report to the deputy chief counsel (technical), and the Office of Division Counsel (TE/GE), which will report to the deputy chief counsel (operations).  With this restructuring, IRS field attorneys will be part of the Office of Division Counsel and IRS national office attorneys will be part of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel.

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New (But Mostly Old) IRS and Treasury Department Priorities for the Tax-Exempt Sector

The Treasury Department and IRS released the 2014-2015 Priority Guidance Plan on August 26, 2014.  The Guidance Plan lists a total of 317 projects that are priorities for allocation of Treasury Department and IRS resources for July 2014 through June 2015.  Of these, only sixteen relate directly to exempt organizations.  Eleven of the sixteen are carryovers from the 2013-2014 Priority Guidance Plan; the remaining five projects are new, but two of these (dealing with Form 1023-EZ and related streamlined application procedures) were completed before issuance of the 2014-2015 Plan. 

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6 Easy-to-Miss Points about New York’s Non-Profit Revitalization Act, Part II of II

New York’s Non-Profit Revitalization Act (the “Act”) went into effect on July 1, 2014.  This is the second in a two-part series of easy-to-miss points about the Act.  For last week’s installment, view post titled "6 Easy-to-Miss Points about New York’s Non-Profit Revitalization Act, Part I of II."  Patterson Belknap’s complete summary of the Act is also available if you’d like to delve more deeply.

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Form 1023-EZ is Now Live

In our May 2014 blog post, “Introducing Form 1023-EZ,” we provided an overview of the new streamlined three-page Form 1023-EZ, which the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) was set to introduce this summer for small charities seeking tax exemption.  The IRS formally announced the Form 1023-EZ’s introduction on July 1, 2014.  Now that the form is live, we would like to highlight the key updated points.

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Revised New York Attorney General Charities Bureau Publications

With the effective date of the New York Non-Profit Revitalization Act (the “Act”) just around the corner (July 1, 2014), the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau has just released updated guidance publications on the procedures that New York not-for-profit corporations must follow for dissolutions (with and without assets), mergers and consolidations, and sales and other dispositions of all or substantially all of a corporation’s assets.

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IRS Controversy & Restructuring

In the past year, the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (“TE/GE”) of the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has been engulfed in controversy, resulting in sweeping changes in both its personnel and operations.  The controversy began in May 2013, when Lois Lerner, at the time the Commissioner of TE/GE, revealed at an American Bar Association (“ABA”) Tax Section conference that the IRS had used inappropriate criteria to identify and scrutinize exemption applications from organizations with certain words in their names, such as “Tea Party” and “patriot.”  

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Introducing Form 1023-EZ

In what may be a sea change in how new non-profit organizations seek tax-exempt status, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has announced that it is releasing the Form 1023-EZ, a “Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code” this summer, and that eligible organizations will immediately be able to utilize the form in seeking tax-exempt status.

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