downbutnotoutThe IRS recently denied tax-exempt status to two organizations based on their political activities. The two groups – whose names have been redacted from letters released by the agency – sought tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(4), which is reserved for “social welfare” groups whose primary purpose is to benefit the general community.

Controversy has been

Capitol

In case you missed our webinar last week on government affairs compliance, you can click here for the recording and here for the presentation materials. We covered topics including:

  • Creative ways to be involved in the political process; 
  • Operating a compliant PAC;
  • Federal and state lobbying compliance;
  • Pay-to-play laws that affect

On November 26, the Department of Treasury released proposed regulations billed as “more definitive rules” for when the IRS will treat certain activities by section 501(c)(4) organization as political activity. It is hard to argue that the proposal provides some clarity, but only by classifying a wide variety of activities as candidate-related and therefore not

Last week, Lois Lerner, the now suspended Director of Exempt Organizations for the IRS, appeared before the House Oversight Committee. She gave a brief opening statement, in which she proclaimed that she had “not done nothing wrong” and that she had “not broken any laws.”

Her lawyer had already informed the Committee that she would



It seems the IRS controversy has spilled into the states. Late last week Governor Rick Perry vetoed legislation
 that would have required the disclosure of high-level donors by many politically active organizations, including those exempt under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal
TexasRevenue Code. After a Republican legislature passed the bill, there was a fevered
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It’s been less than three weeks since the IRS admitted to targeting applications for tax-exempt status filed by some conservative organizations. Much has happened since then on both the personnel front and with congressional oversight hearings.

On the personnel front, the acting IRS commissioner (Steven Miller) resigned and the President named a new acting commissioner.

A federal court last week ruled that a small nonprofit, formed under Wyoming law to advocate positions on various political issues, may have to include certain federally-mandated disclosures on its ads and fundraising appeals, and may even have to register and report as a federal political committee.

The ruling is an important reminder that advocacy

In case you missed our Political Law 101 webinar, you can listen to the recording and watch the presentation here.

On April 16 we will host Public Policy and Politics: Compliance Tips for Your Nonprofit's Advocacy and Electoral Efforts as both a lunch seminar and webinar. Click here to register.

The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (“JCOPE”), which oversees and regulates ethics and lobbying in New York, hosted the first in a series of roundtable discussions with the regulated community on March 8 (in Albany) and March 15 (in NYC).

The March roundtable discussions focused on the new Reportable Business Relationship (“RBR”)

In the recent press release announcing his retirement, Senator Carl Levin announced that he will use his last two years running the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (“PSI”) to “encourage” the IRS to provide aggressive oversight of tax-exempt groups that are primarily engaged in politics. The prospect of hearings could potentially expose the inner workings of