Charitable Donations

News & Analysis as of

Make Your Charity Great Again; Double-Check Your Compliance With State Registration Laws

Earlier this month, the New York Attorney General’s office ordered Donald Trump’s foundation to immediately stop soliciting charitable donations in the state. The attorney general also demanded that the Trump Foundation...more

Prohibited Campaign Intervention: Stay Alert in the Final Stretch

Engaging in any political electoral campaign activity on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate for public office is a prohibited activity for all charities and private foundations that are exempt under Internal Revenue...more

Transferee Liability: The [Unlikely] Situation that your Nonprofit Receives a Charitable Gift with Expensive Tax Strings Attached

The case of Salus Mundi Foundation et al v. Commissioner - On August 15, 2016, the Tax Court decided in Salus Mundi Foundation et al v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2016-154, that two foundations were liable as transferees...more

John Fogarty Rocks-Nu Skin Informs Oversight

I recently saw John Fogerty in concert. For those you are not aware, he was a founding member and the driving force behind Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), one of the very top American groups from the 1960s and early...more

Alabama Ethics Commission Update

The Alabama Ethics Commission (the “Commission”) held a regularly scheduled meeting on October 5, 2016. At the meeting, the Commission formally extended the comment period for two significant advisory opinions affecting...more

SEC Cracks Down on Charitable Contributions under the FCPA - Best Practices In Light of Recent SEC Enforcement

For the first time, the Securities and Exchange Commission has brought an FCPA enforcement action premised entirely on a one-time charitable contribution. On September 20, 2016, the SEC announced a settled FCPA...more

2016 New York Tax Update: Highlights and Lowlights

There wasn’t much in the way of substantive New York tax changes in the 2017 budget bill that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed in April. Or at least wasn’t much in the way of changes that affect the day-to-day practices of the...more

Lessons Learned from Nu Skin

The enforcement action against manufacturer Nu Skin Enterprises highlights the risks of making charitable donations in high-risk countries without conducting meaningful anticorruption due diligence....more

How Can Employees Help Victims of Louisiana’s August 2016 Storms. . .Through an Employer Leave Donation Program or Leave Sharing...

Leave Donation - In mid-September, the IRS announced income tax relief for individuals who donate through their employers to aid victims of the Louisiana storms that began on August 11, 2016. See IRS Notice 2016-55...more

Recent SEC Settlement Demonstrates FCPA Risks from Charitable Contributions

For just the second time in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s (FCPA) history, a company was charged with FCPA offenses based solely on a charitable contribution that was intended to buy the influence of a foreign...more

Three Key Takeaways from the Nu Skin FCPA Settlement for a Corrupt Charitable Donation

In a rare enforcement action, the SEC settled an FCPA enforcement action for $766,000 for a charitable donation of $154,000 to improperly influence a high-ranking Chiese Communist party official to prevent a provincial agency...more

Court Dismisses Challenge to New York Donor Disclosure Requirement

On August 29, 2016, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed in its entirety a complaint against the New York Attorney General filed by Citizens United and Citizens United Foundation,...more

IRS Provides Guidance Addressing Leave-Based Donations Benefiting Louisiana Storm Victims

In the wake of several severe storms and widespread flooding in Louisiana, many local residents and businesses are dealing with catastrophic property damage and loss. These burdens have resulted in an overwhelming need for...more

Lack of Due Diligence Re China Sub Yields FCPA Charges for Parent

Doing business in high risk areas of the world requires additional diligence to avoid corruption issues. The SEC’s latest FCPA settlement is an example of an action where the parent company took proactive steps, but they...more

Proposed Bayer-Monsanto merger presents a charitable planning opportunity

The announcement of the Bayer-Monsanto transaction gives shareholders a great opportunity to think about taxes and charitable planning options. Shareholders have seen a $10-$15/share bump since May, and the current...more

Philanthropic Planning

As an estate planning attorney, I have the opportunity to help people every day. Working with clients to craft an estate plan to transition their assets to their family members and friends is very rewarding. Not infrequently,...more

Enforcing Charitable Pledges: New York’s Shifting Landscape

On August 24, 2016, it was widely reported in the business media that Duke University had filed a claim against the estate of Aubrey McLendon, the former CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp., who died in March 2016. The claim was...more

Perspectives - August/September 2016

We’ve all heard about India’s rape crisis, but not everyone knows that it’s the result of the larger problem of gender inequality. According to UNICEF, India is the worst place to be born a girl. The birth of a baby girl is...more

The Donor Advised Fund Alternative to a Family Foundation

There are several gifting vehicles that provide donors and their families with the opportunity to participate in their philanthropy on an ongoing basis. Frequently, families will consider creating and funding a private family...more

Consider Your Options for Charitable Giving - Trusts and Estates Update Volume 2016, Issue 1

There are many charitable giving options that are available to fit a donor’s specific goals. You do not have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffett to make a difference in the world now and after you are gone. Most of our...more

Review of Income Tax Deduction Rules for Charitable Gifts is reporting that Amber Heard, who received a $7 million settlement in her divorce from Johnny Depp this week, is donating the entire $7 million settlement to charities with “a particular focus to stop violence...more

Thinking of Crowdfunding Your Project? Beware – the Taxman Cometh

The IRS Office of Chief Counsel recently released Information Letter 2016-0036 in response to questions regarding the taxation of crowdfunding revenue. In it the IRS concluded that crowdfunding revenue is taxable to the...more

Election Year Updates for Section 501(c)(4) Social Welfare Organizations

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, or the PATH Act, made several changes to tax law applicable to section 501(c)(4) organizations operating this election year. In addition, two relatively recent IRS denials...more

FCPA Compliance: Does “Anything of Value” Really Mean “Anything of Value”?

The FCPA statute is not as vague as some contend. I remember the words of a former FTC Chairperson who told me once – “The Clayton Act is not vague. I just read the law and apply it to the facts.”...more

What Does the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Mean for Modern Philanthropy?

In an open letter to their newborn daughter last December, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan announced they will eventually give 99 percent of their Facebook shares during their lives to a variety of...more

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