Other Developments

Date01 February 2020
Published date01 February 2020
Bruce R. Hopkins’ Nonpr ofit Counsel DOI:10.10 02/n pc
ailments that face our society, and by supporting chari-
ties, we make our communities and our country a better
place for Americans from all walks of life.” He added
that his legislation would “allow everyone to deduct
charitable giving, regardless of itemizing status while
increasing support for the great work our faith-based
and charitable organizations contribute.”
Legislation was introduced on December 6 to augment
the Qualified Opportunity Zones program (summarized
in the December 2018 issue). This bill is the IMPACT Act,
with the acronym standing for Improving and Reinstat-
ing the Monitoring, Prevention, Accountability, Certifica-
tion, and Transparency Provision of Opportunity Zones.
The measure includes a variety of reporting requirements
to provide for, in the language of a press release, the
“most robust and granular analysis over time on the
targeted impacts of investments in Opportunity Zones.”
At this point, there are more than 8,700 opportu-
nity zones in the nation, with more than $63 billion in
anticipated investments. The IMPACT Act is designed to
protect taxpayer privacy and preserve the ability of com-
munities to utilize a wide variety of possible investments
without overburdening entrepreneurs and local govern-
ments with unnecessary paperwork.
These rules were initially part of the opportunity
zones legislation, but procedural rules caused them to
be stripped out of the legislation when it became part
of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
These zones and qualified opportunity funds are not
necessarily inherently charitable in nature but can involve
private foundations and other philanthropic organiza-
tions and efforts that overlap with the concept of eco-
nomic development in the charitable context. [7.16(e),
17.7 (supp.)]
Some sponsoring organizations are adopting a new
policy of not permitting grants from their donor-advised
funds to charities that are under investigation by the
IRS, according to an article in the December 4 Chronicle
of Philanthropy. Schwab Charitable, for example, stated
that it “follows IRS guidance and suspends grants to
501(c)(3) organizations that are under investigation, until
the investigation concludes and the organization retains
its 501(c)(3) status.” By contrast, here is the policy of the
Renaissance Charitable Foundation: “Our policy is to not
police possibilities or maybes. If a legitimate charitable
organization is registered and current with the IRS (and
the tax code set by Congress), then that organization
can receive grants from our DAFs.” [11.8]
Gift-acceptance policies are one thing. Naming rights
fostered by large contributions are another. Now we
have donor-name removal as an act of “symbolism.” An
article in the December 6 New York Times titled “Tufts
Removes Sackler Family Name From Facilities Over Opi-
oid Crisis” reports on the removal of Arthur M. Sackler’s
name from a Tufts University medical school’s facade.
The dean of the school termed the name removal an
“important symbolic move.” A lawyer for some Sackler
family members stated that “[w]e will be seeking to have
this improper decision reversed and are currently review-
ing all options available to us.” The president of Harvard
University said earlier in 2019 that removal of the family’s
name from buildings would be “inappropriate,” citing
“legal and contractual obligations.” It was noted that
Arthur Sackler made his contributions to the university
“long before” OxyContin was developed.
Quote of the Month: In its press release concerning the
new e-filing rules for exempt organizations (see article
beginning on p. 6), the IRS stated that the Taxpayer First
Act “aims to expand and strengthen taxpayer rights and
to reform the IRS into a more taxpayer friendly agency”
and that the legislation “requires the agency to develop
a comprehensive customer service strategy, modernize
its technology and enhance its cyber security.”
Each article in the newsletter on a tax-exempt organizations law topic ends with a citation to the appropriate chapter(s) or
subchapter(s) in Hopkins, The Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations, Twelfth Edition (Wiley, 2019). This is done to provide ready access
to additional and background information concerning these articles. For example, underlying information concerning the third article
in this issue is available in Chapter 4 §§ 3 and 5 of the book; thus, the citation is referenced as [4.3, 4.5]. Likewise, each article in
the newsletter on a charitable giving law topic ends with a citation to the appropriate chapter(s) or subchapter(s) in Hopkins, The
Tax Law of Charitable Giving, Fifth Edition (Wiley, 2019 cumulative supplement). For example, underlying information concerning
the first article in this issue is available in Chapter 10 § 15(c) of the book; thus, the citation is referenced as [10.15(c)].
This newsletter is a stand-alone publication. An inventory of articles in the newsletter since its inception in 1983, and a subject mat-
ter index, as well as an index of the court opinions, IRS revenue rulings and procedures, IRS technical advice memoranda, and IRS
private letter rulings discussed in the newsletter, are available at www.brucerhopkinslaw.com. For those who have the books, the
newsletter also provides monthly updates. Both books are annually supplemented. Questions concerning nonprofit law develop-
ments in general may be sent to brucerhopkins@brucerhopkinslaw.com. Also, a comprehensive summary of nonprofit law is avail-
able in the Bruce R. Hopkins Nonprofit Law Library, an e-book published by Wiley. Follow BRHopkins_NPLaw on Twitter.
The newsletter has a dedicated website. Please visit wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/npc.

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