This is the Council on Foundations team reporting from the 33rd Annual Representing and Managing Tax-Exempt Organizations Conference. This conference is the best-attended EO conference in the United States, and we are thrilled to see so many of our members and colleagues here.
The first day of the conference started with back to back plenaries packed with information. At 9:15 a.m. on the dot, we received an update from the Treasury and the IRS. Elinor Ramey from the Treasury and Victoria Judson from the IRS shared what to expect in the IRS/Treasury guidance program. Both presenters reminded us of the numerous resources available to private foundations and public charities (exempt organizations). I’m thrilled to share those resources with you:
Start here to navigate the IRS resources for public charities and private foundations:
Check out these learning resources:
Stay up to date on the latest developments:
Don’t forget – TE/GE releases priorities each year which signal what’s on the radar.
- 2016 Priorities, see pages 7-8: http://www.nonprofitlawblog.com/irs-issues-tege-priorities-for-2016/
- Quick Summary of EO Priorities: http://www.nonprofitlawblog.com/irs-issues-tege-priorities-for-2016/
As the session wrapped and transitioned to the Capitol Hill Update, we received some gems of information:
- The Treasury and the IRS are in talks about the value of Schedule B.
- The Treasury and IRS are looking at donor advised funds.
- The Treasury and IRS were surprised by the push back on donor substantiation, because their proposal was meant to save nonprofits the administrative burden of amending their returns if a donation was not substantiated in Schedule B. Donors had the ability to ask for that substantiation years after the gift was made and numerous donors coming to exempt organizations at different times means numerous amended returns for each donor request for substantiation that wasn’t already reflected in Schedule B.
- Both panelists emphasized that Schedule B would be redacted if e-filing became mandatory.
Alexander Reid from Morgan, Lewis, and Bockus moderated the Capitol Hill Update with Tiffany Smith, Senior Tax Counsel for the Senate Finance Committee and Paul Poteet, Tax and Trade Counsel to Senator John Thune (R-SD). They discussed the issues we cover each week in Washington Snapshot. We were thrilled to hear Alex highlight one of the Philanthropy Week asks this year. House Resolution 668 which proposes “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that philanthropy is an integral partner to government with a unique and proven ability to foster innovation, strengthen civil society, and build thriving communities.”
Right before lunch Bruce Hopkins provided his legendary expertise review of this year in exempt organizations law (when will SNL pick this up as a skit!). In the afternoon, attendees picked their own adventure with numerous valuable concurrent sessions to choose from.
While some eyes glaze over when the words exempt organizations are thrown around, we can’t wait for Day 2.