Fw: [CHARITYCHANNEL] We Review: The Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations

H. C. Covington (ach1@sprynet.com)
Tue, 9 Jun 1998 20:09:45 -0500


WE REVIEW:
The Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations, by Bruce R. Hopkins. Hardcover. 7th
Edition, Hardcover, 930 pages, Published by John Wiley & Sons, Publication
date: April 1998, $155. May be ordered online at
http://CharityChannel.com/Review/018.htm

Reviewing Editor:  Stephen C. Nill, Esq.
American Philanthropy Review


        US nonprofit boards, officers, senior managers, and fund
development
professionals have enough to contend with without also racing to keep pace
with the accelerating changes in the multi-faceted law of tax-exempt
organizations.

        In just the past two or three years alone sweeping changes in the
law have
been brought about by such legislation as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2,
the Philanthropy Protection Act of 1995, the Health Insurance Portability
and Accountability Act of 1996, the Small Business Job Protection Act of
1996, and the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (to name a few).

        As a result of such changes, legal issues have emerged concerning
fund-raising regulation, private inurement and private benefit, unrelated
business rules, the commerciality doctrine, legislative and political
activities, application for tax exemption, annual information returns, and
partnerships and subsidiaries.

        Then, too, the law affecting US nonprofits is constantly shaped and
reshaped by Treasury Department regulations, IRS revenue rulings and
revenue procedures, and, of course, court rulings.  Indeed, we can expect
IRS to test its authority to levy penalties for excess benefit
transactions; we will experience an onslaught of litigation over the role
of charities in politics; we will see an expansion in the information
charities must provide in their annual return; and legal boundaries will be
tested as the result of mergers, reorganizations, use of subsidiaries,
liquidations and conversions  especially in the health care arena.

        And, as if that’s not enough, entirely new bodies of law have been
created:  Intermediate sanctions is just one example.

        With all this complexity and change, how in the world can we all
keep up?
That’s the purpose behind the just-printed 1998 Seventh Edition of The Law
of Tax-Exempt Organizations by Bruce R. Hopkins.

        As with his prior editions, Hopkins has managed to address, within
the
covers of a single volume (well, actually, he added another book to more
fully cover private foundations) just about any topic relating to
tax-exempt organizations (see the table of contents, below).  To his
credit, he’s done so while penning a text that is perfectly comprehensible
for the non-lawyer, yet thorough enough (primarily through the use of
detailed footnotes) to become the reference of first choice for lawyers
practicing in the field.  This is an amazing accomplishment.

        Having first been introduced to prior editions of The Law of
Tax-Exempt
Organizations some years ago, I had come to expect that each succeeding
edition would be lengthier, more complex -- like the law has become over
the years.  Yet this Seventh Edition is actually slimmer than the prior
edition.  Though Hopkins has removed some sections and written with more
economy, the book is smaller because he’s removed about 200 pages of the
law concerning private foundations and expanded them into a separate book,
Private Foundations:  Tax Law and Compliance, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,
1997, co-authored with Jody Blazek. (An upcoming “We Review” will focus on
this separate book.)   Hopkins doesn't ignore the law of private
foundations in this volume, but rather treats it, in Chapter 11, in less
detail.


        This is definitely a must-have book for anyone working for or with
US
nonprofit organizations, such as board members, officers, senior staff,
fund development staff or fund-raising consultants, grant writers,
attorneys and accountants advising tax-exempt organizations, and anyone
else requiring a single-volume treatise covering the law of tax-exempt
organizations.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

PART ONE:  INTRODUCTION TO THE LAW OF TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS.

1.      Philosophy Underlying and Rationales for Tax-Exempt Organizations.
2.      Overview of Nonprofit Sector and Exempt Organizations.
3.      Source, Advantages, and Disadvantages of Tax Exemption.
4.      Organizational, Operational, and Similar Tests.

PART TWO:  TAX-EXEMPT CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS.

5.      Scope of Term “Charitable.”
6.      Charitable Organizations.
7.      Educational Organizations.
8.      Religious Organizations.
9.      Scientific Organizations.
10.     Other Charitable Organizations.
11.     Public Charities and Private Foundations.

PART THREE:  NONCHARITABLE TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS.

12.     Social Welfare Organizations.
13.     Associations and Other Business Leagues.
14.     Social Clubs.
15.     Labor, Agricultural, and Horticultural Organizations.
16.     Employee Benefit Funds.
17.     Political Organizations.
18.     Other Tax-Exempt Organizations.

PART FOUR:  GENERAL EXEMPT ORGANIZATION LAWS
19.     Private Inurement, Private Benefit, and Excess Benefit
Transactions.
20.     Legislative Activities by Exempt Organizations.
21.     Political Campaign Activities by Tax-Exempt Organizations.
22.     Insurance and Fund-Raising Activities.
23.     Exemption Recognition Process.
24.     Operational Considerations.

PART FIVE:  THE COMMERCIALITY DOCTRINE AND UNRELATED BUSINESS INCOME
TAXATION

25.     The Commerciality Doctrine
26.     Unrelated Business Activities.
27.     Exceptions to Unrelated Income Taxation.
28.     Unrelated Income Taxation and Feeder Organizations.
29.     Unrelated Debt-Financed Income and Tax-Exempt Entity Leasing Rules.

PART SIX:  INTER-ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES AND OPERATIONAL FORMS

30.     Combinations of Tax-Exempt Organizations. Tax-Exempt Organizations
and
For-Profit Subsidiaries.
31.     Tax-Exempt Organizations, Partnerships, and Joint Ventures.
32.     Organizational and Operational Considerations.

Appendices.
Table of Cases.
Table of IRS Revenue Rulings and Revenue Procedures.
Table of IRS Private Letter Rulings, Technical Advice Memoranda, and
General Counsel Memoranda.
Table of IRS Private Determinations Cited in Text.
Index

--------------------------------------
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