Law Professor Blog

New Tax Law and Nonprofits

The end of 2017 brought significant new tax legislation. Although the Johnson Amendment remained intact, the increase in the standard deduction means that fewer people will itemize deductions, which, in turn, effectively eliminates the value of the charitable deduction for...

Drennan: Conspicuous Philanthropy: Reconciling Contract and Tax Laws

William A. Drennan (Southern Illinois University School of Law) has written Conspicuous Philanthropy: Reconciling Contract and Tax Laws, 66 Am. U. L. Rev. 1323 (2017). Below is Professor Drennan's abstract: It sold for $15 million, and the IRS treated it...

Frye: Art Law & the Law of the Horse

Brian L. Frye (University of Kentucky - College of Law) has written Art Law & the Law of the Horse. Below is Professor Frye's abstract: At a 1996 conference on the “Law of Cyberspace,” Judge Frank Easterbrook famously criticized “cyberlaw”...

Aprill: Amending the Johnson Amendment in the Age of Cheap Speech

Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola Law School - Los Angeles) has written Amending the Johnson Amendment in the Age of Cheap Speech, University of Illinois Law Review On-Line (Forthcoming). Below is Professor Aprill's abstract: On November 2, 2017, the House Ways...

Follow up on the GOP tax bill repealing the Johnson Amendment

Last week the proposed GOP tax bill allowing churches to endorse political candidates while maintaining their tax-exempt status was expanded. The expanded version of the provision includes all 501(c)(3) organizations. The expanded provision was passed by the House Ways and...

GOP Tax Bill Allowing Churches to Participate in Political Activity

The new tax bill proposed in Congress has a provision that would allow churches to endorse political candidates while keeping their tax-exempt status. The provision would deny the IRS money to enforce denial or revocation of churches tax-exempt status for...

Churches and Their Support of Political Candidates

Churches are automatically 501(c)(3) organizations, and as a result, they don’t need to apply to receive their tax-exempt status. Like all 501(c)(3)’s, churches are prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in ant political campaign on behalf of any candidate for...

The Effects of Citizens United on Nonprofit Organizations

The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United removed the restrictions on independent spending in elections by corporations. Now, a great deal of the money contributed to political candidate’s campaigns comes from corporations. Some corporations are nonprofit entities, like 501(c)(3)s, which...

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

Citizens United, a 501(c)(4) organization, sued the Federal Election Commission seeking injunctive relief because they feared that they would be subject to civil and criminal penalties if it made a documentary against a presidential candidate within 30 days of the...

What is a Political Organization

A 527 organization/political organization is a political organization. A political organization is defined as a party, committee, association, fund, or other organization organized and operated for the primary purpose of directly or indirectly accepting contributions or making expenditures, for an...

What is a 501(c)(4) Organization?

A 501(c)(4) organization is an organization that is exempted from federal income taxation. These organizations can be civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit, but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, or local associations of employees, the...

What is a 501(c)(3) Organization?

This week I'm writing a series of blog posts that go together. The first part of the week will be dedicated to introducing some of the different types of non-profit organizations. Once the different organizations are introduced I will examine...

Aprill on the Tax Consequences of Legal Defense Funds

Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola-Los Angeles) has written a short piece on the Tax Consequences of Legal Defense Funds. From the article: LDF trusts raise questions as to tax treatment of the trust, whether the trust can take advantage of special...

Brunson & Herzig: Religious Tax Exemptions after Obergefell

Samuel D. Brunson (Loyola-Chicago) and David J. Herzig (Valparaiso) have written A Diachronic Approach to Bob Jones: Religious Tax Exemptions after Obergefell, 92 Indiana Law Journal 1175 (2017). Here is the abstract: In Bob Jones University v. United States, the...

Chodorow on Gaylor v. Mnuchin (minister housing allowance case)

Adam Chodorow (Arizona State) has written a brief analysis of Gaylor v. Mnuchin for the ABA Tax Times. titled A Step Toward Greater Clarity on Clergy Tax Exemptions? Here is the first paragraph: On October 6, 2017, the U.S. District...

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