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How to Tell Who Gets to Play so You Don’t Pay

September 14, 2012

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From BenefitsBryanCave.com

Late on a Friday, just before escaping for Labor Day weekend, the IRS, Department of Labor, and Department of Health and Human Services provided two pieces of guidance on two of health care reform’s more important provisions: determining full-time status of employees for purposes of the employer “play or pay” penalty and the 90-day waiting period requirement.  The two pieces of guidance refer to one another, so it is important to understand them both.  In addition, while neither piece of guidance takes effect until 2014, sponsors of health plans should begin planning now to address these pieces of guidance.  We addressed the 90-day waiting period guidance last Friday and this post will address the “play or pay” guidance.

IRS Exempt Organization Newsletter 2012-15

September 13, 2012

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On September 11, the IRS released its Exempt Organization Newsletter, Issue Number 2012-15. Topics include the following:

  • How to find information on the new IRS.gov
  • Disaster relief through charitable organizations
  • Free Tax Exempt Bonds webinar – Sept. 18
  • Register for upcoming workshops for small and medium-sized charities in Pennsylvania and Washington

Top 10 Reasons to Attend Church On-Line

September 10, 2012

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Top 10 Reasons to Attend Church On-Line

September 10, 2012

Authored by: Nathan Boyce

In a prior post, I discussed the case of an organization that was denied church status because, among other things, there was no opportunity for congregants to “interact and associate with each other in worship” where the sermon was broadcast over the radio and internet.  In a recent ruling, PLR 201232034, the IRS again denied church status to a similar organization, stating that: “A website on the Internet does not qualify as a place of worship, nor do individuals accessing that website constitute a congregation assembled to worship.” The IRS is sticking to its guns on this point, it seems.  Nonetheless below are my top 10 reasons to replace your live church with an on-line church:

  • No need to get dressed or brush your teeth
  • No one notices if you are late
  • Wellness is Alive & Well in the 11th Circuit

    August 23, 2012

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    From BenefitsBryanCave.com

    On Monday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Seff v. Broward County that Broward County, Florida’s wellness program qualified for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) bona fide benefit plan safe harbor and therefore was not discriminatory under the ADA. This is a helpful ruling for employers maintaining or looking to implement wellness programs.

    Background. The ADA generally provides that an employer can only require medical examinations of its employees if they are job-related and consistent with business necessity. However, the ADA also says that it is not intended to prohibit an employer “from establishing, sponsoring, observing or administering the terms of a bona fide benefit plan that are based on underwriting risks, classifying risks, or administering such risks that are based on or not inconsistent with State law.”

    The Case. In the case, Broward had a wellness program with biometric screening and

    AICPA Releases Draft Not-for-Profit Guide

    August 20, 2012

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    The AICPA’s Financial Reporting Executive Committee has issued a working draft of the accounting content of a proposed Audit and Accounting Guide, Not-for-Profit Entities.  This draft guide addresses many new accounting issues that have emerged over the years and includes guidance dedicated specifically to not-for-profit entities. A copy of the draft guide may be obtained by clicking here.

    IRS Exempt Organization Newsletter 2012-13

    August 15, 2012

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    On August 13, the IRS released its Exempt Organization Newsletter, Issue Number 2012-13. Topics include the following:

    • View webinar on authorizations of disclosure of tax information to third parties Aug. 29
    • Sign up for the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum in Chicago
    • Notice 2012-52: Charitable contributions to domestic disregarded entities
    • PTIN system improved
    • RPO and OPR delegation orders available
    • Register for upcoming SMS workshops
    • New pub for conduit issuers of tax-exempt bonds
    • IRS can help when starting a small business

    Possible Revisions To Section 501(C)(4)

    August 13, 2012

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    Background

    Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code provides, in relevant part, an exemption for “[c]ivic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.”  With respect to the meaning of “exclusively”, the regulations provide that “An organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare if it is primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community.”[1]   In order to be recognized as exempt under Section 501(c)(4), an organization must file a Form 1024 with the IRS. 

    IRS Finally Approves Deductibility of Contributions to Domestic LLCs Wholly Owned by Charities

    August 2, 2012

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    Tax practitioners have long believed that donations could be made to single member LLCs wholly owned by section 501(c)(3) organizations on the theory that, for tax purposes, the donation was treated as made to the charity and not the LLC.  In long awaited guidance, the IRS has finally agreed in Notice 2012-52.  The analysis in the notice is not surprising, and is in fact, exactly what tax practitioners have been arguing ever since disregarded entities came into existence.

    Generally, a business entity that has a single owner and that is not a corporation is treated as disregarded as an entity separate from its owner.  These “business entities” are typically limited liability companies. If an entity is disregarded, its operations and activities are treated in the same manner as a sole proprietorship, branch, or division of the owner, and the owner generally reports all income, loss, deductions, and credits on its own tax

    Charitable Marijuana

    Charitable Marijuana

    July 31, 2012

    Authored by: Nathan Boyce

    In PLR 201224036, the organization at issue was dedicated to providing education about using “cannabis as medical therapy” and to providing “safe, legal access to cannabis.” The law of the state apparently allowed such use when prescribed by a doctor. The organization also provided:  

    • information about how to ingest cannabis
    • recipes that include cannabis
    • instructions to grow your own cannabis
    • grading services for homegrown cannabis

    In order to pay for the cannabis, members pay a “suggested donation price” in cash or in exchange for

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