New York view

Should the Alleged Political Activities of the Trump and Clinton Foundations Result in a Loss of Their Tax Exemption under Section 501(c)(3)?

Election year 2016 has something for everyone, including tax-exempt law practitioners. Along with the discussion of Russian hackers and pocket Constitutions have been charges against the Trump and Clinton Foundations involving whether either has violated the laws regarding their tax-exempt status. Many of the charges against both Foundations no doubt are politically motivated and have political and other legal (non-tax) ramifications. Those issues have been well-covered by the media over the past 12 – 18 months. The focus of this article will be on the implications of the allegations, if true, on the Foundations’ tax-exempt status.1Continue reading

Super Bowl fans in Seattle

Overthinking the Play Call

In a Private Letter Ruling released on February 13, the IRS denied an open source software project’s 501(c)(4) exemption application using a rationale sure to invite Monday morning quarterbacking. Rather than simply denying the application on the straight up the middle basis that the open source software project was carrying on a business with the general public in a manner similar to organizations which are operated for profit (See Treas. Reg. § 1.501(c)(4)-1(a)(2)(ii)), the IRS instead chose a pass route that brings into question whether any open source software project could qualify for exemption.Continue reading