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Proposed changes to group exemption letter program, UBTI ‘silo’ rules and more

June 15, 2020

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IRS solicits public comments on proposed changes to group exemption letter program; will temporarily stop accepting requests for group exemption letters on June 17, 2020 

Notice 2020-36 contains a proposed revenue procedure that sets forth updated procedures under which recognition of exemption from federal income tax for organizations described in Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code may be obtained on a group basis for subordinate organizations affiliated with and under the general supervision or control of a central organization. The IRS requests comments on all aspects of the proposed revenue procedure, including applicable grandfather and transition rules. Comments should be submitted on or before August 16, 2020.

Pending publication of the final revenue procedure in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, Rev. Proc. 80-27 continues to apply. However, the IRS will not accept any requests for group exemption letters beginning June 17, 2020, until publication of the final revenue procedure

Treasury, IRS issue final regulations providing relief for certain tax-exempt organizations

May 28, 2020

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The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service today issued final regulations [lnks.gd]clarifying the reporting requirements generally applicable to tax-exempt organizations.

The final regulations reflect statutory amendments and certain grants of reporting relief announced by the Treasury Department and the IRS in prior guidance to help many tax-exempt organizations generally find the reporting requirements in one place.

Among other provisions, the final regulations incorporate the existing exception from having to file an annual return for certain organizations that normally have gross receipts of $50,000 or less.  That exception was previously announced in Revenue Procedure 2011-15. The regulations also provide that the requirement to report contributor names and addresses on annual returns generally applies only to returns filed by Section 501(c)(3) organizations and Section 527 political organizations.  All tax-exempt organizations must continue to maintain the names and addresses of their substantial contributors in their books

Electronic Form 1023 news, social media reminder and more

April 30, 2020

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Form 1023 Paper Submission Transition Period Expires April 30

As of January 31, 2020, organizations are required to submit Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, electronically online at Pay.gov. The IRS provided a 90-day transition period during which time applicants can continue to submit paper Form 1023 applications. The transition period expires April 30, 2020. The IRS will not accept paper Form 1023 applications postmarked after that date.

The user fee for Form 1023 remains at $600 for 2020. Applicants must pay the user fee through Pay.gov when submitting the form. Payment can be made directly from a bank account or by credit/debit card.

Updated information on Signing Electronically Submitted Form 1023 

An applicant may satisfy the electronic signature requirement for an electronically submitted Form 1023 by including, in the PDF file it uploads as part of its application, a

IRS extends more tax deadlines; EO operations affected during COVID-19 and more

April 14, 2020

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Last month, the IRS announced that certain taxpayers generally have until July 15, 2020, to file and pay federal income taxes originally due on April 15. The IRS has extended this relief to additional returns, tax payments and other actions. As a result, the extensions generally now apply to all taxpayers that have a filing or payment deadline falling on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. The extensions apply to many forms and tax payments made by tax-exempt organizations, including:

  • Form 990-series annual information returns or notices (Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-BL, 990-N (e-postcard))
  • Forms 8871 and 8872
  • Form 5227
  • Form 990-T
  • Form 1120-POL
  • Form 4720
  • Form 8976

See Notice 2020-23 and Rev. Proc. 2018-58 for more information, including a complete list of affected forms, tax payments and other time-sensitive actions.

IRS operations during COVID-19: mission-critical functions continue

In response to the

U.S. Congress Gives Employers an Incentive to Retain Employees in CARES Act

April 9, 2020

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Section 2301 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) , enacted on March 27, 2020, introduces an employee retention tax credit (the “ERC”) designed to incentivize employers affected by the COVID-19 crisis to retain employees.  Subject to certain limitations outlined below, the amount of the credit is 50% of qualified wages paid by an eligible employer, up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee. The ERC is applied against the employer portion of Social Security taxes (but not the employer portion of Medicare taxes) and is a refundable credit. Thus, to the extent the amount of the credit during any calendar quarter exceeds the employer’s applicable employment taxes for such quarter, the excess will be treated as a refundable overpayment under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”).  The ERC is applicable to wages paid after March 12, 2020 and before January 1, 2021

U.S. Congressional CARES Act & Nonprofit Organizations

April 1, 2020

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Loan Programs

Small Business Loan Program Expansion – “Paycheck Protection Program”: Provides 100% guarantee for bank loans made to qualifying business/organizations during the period of February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020.  To qualify, nonprofits must not have more than 500 total full-time and part-time employees.  Nonprofit organizations with more than 500 employees are not eligible for this program. Detailed guidance from the firm on this program can be found here:

Emergency Economic Injury Grants – “Disaster Loans”: Nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees who apply for an economic injury disaster loan with the SBA may receive up to $10,000 as an advance against the loan within 3 days of application if SBA certifies that the entity is eligible.  This is to enable nonprofits to quickly access financial assistance while their loan application is being processed.  Eligibility is based solely on applicant’s credit score.  Funds can be used for payroll

COVID-19 Update – How the CARES Act Affects Tax Benefits Related to Charitable Giving

On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act” or “Act”). The Act was one of several Congressional responses to the COVID-19 emergency and it covered many areas, including the tax benefits related to charitable giving.

Generally, there are limitations on deductions for charitable contributions for both individual and corporate taxpayers based on the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (“AGI”), in the case of individuals, and taxable income, in the case of corporations. The CARES Act increases the limit on individual taxpayers’ deductions for cash contributions to public charities from 60% of the individual’s AGI to 100% of the individual’s AGI. This increase effectively suspends the limit for individuals in 2020.  For corporate taxpayers, the CARES Act increased the income limits on the deduction for charitable cash contributions from 10% of the corporation’s taxable income to 25% of the corporation’s

Update to Notice 2020-18, Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic, Related to Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines

March 27, 2020

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Notice 2020-20; Federal income tax filing and payment relief on account of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. This notice provides relief in addition to the relief provided in Notice 2020-18, issued on March 20, 2020. In this notice, the Treasury Department and IRS are providing relief to all taxpayers who have Federal gift (and generation-skipping transfer) tax returns and payments due on April 15, 2020. The April 15, 2020 deadline is postponed to July 15, 2020. Associated interest, additions to tax, and penalties for late filing or late payment will be suspended until July 15, 2020.

Notice 2020-20 will be in IRB 2020-16, dated April 13, 2020.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Part 1 of 2: Small Employer Tax Credits

March 27, 2020

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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA“) generally requires U.S. employers with fewer than 500 employees (“Small Employers”) to provide paid sick leave and additional FMLA benefits to their employees.[1] You can read our summary of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act here and here, respectively.

In order to offset some of the costs these provisions impose on Small Employers, the FFCRA also provides a quarterly payroll tax credit equal to 100% of the qualified sick and leave wages paid to employees under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.

The amount of leave wages taken into account is limited with respect to each individual employee for purposes of the credit.

  • For sick leave wages paid due to an employee’s illness or quarantine, the

TE/GE Fiscal Year 2019 Accomplishments Letter

March 23, 2020

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Tax Exempt and Government Entities Fiscal Year 2019 Accomplishments Letter

Highlights of our accomplishments during FY 2019, all of which support the goals of the IRS Strategic Plan for 2018-2022, include:

  • Expanded the use of Pay.gov to make payments easier
  • Expanded Employee Plans’ (EP’s) self-correction and voluntary correction programs to improve voluntary compliance
  • Expanded the EP determination letter program to encourage compliance
  • Expanded educational efforts, soft letters and compliance checks to increase voluntary compliance
  • Released additional educational videos and articles and participated in many outreach events to empower taxpayers and encourage compliance

You can also review the TE/GE Fiscal Year 2020 Program Letter, which explains our priorities for the current fiscal year.