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Treasury Reports to Congress on SOs and DAFs

With regard to distribution requirements that would impose a minimum distribution for DAFs and SOs like that imposed on private foundations, the Treasury study found that the average payout rate for Aggregate DAFs in 2006 (the first year the data was available) was 9.3% of assets. The payout rate for other DAFs was similar to or above the average. Compared with data indicating a payout rate for private foundations just about 5%, the Treasury concluded that a distribution requirement is unnecessary as DAFs already distribute above the 5%minimum for private foundations. The Treasury did note however, that a definitive conclusion could not be made with only one year of data so further research will be necessary to determine if a distribution requirement will be necessary in the future.

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Small Change Could Spell Big Relief for Small Arizona Nonprofits

simple change in Arizona law would sync the state and federal information return processes, allowing a more simplified filing for small Arizona nonprofits with gross income between $25,000 and $50,000. The purpose of the recent change in federal requirements was to ease the burden of the annual filing for small nonprofits. To reconcile Arizona law with the Federal law, the Arizona legislature need only amend ARS §43-1242 C. 1 to read as follows:

Need not file it if its gross income does not exceed fifty thousand dollars.

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California Passes Legislation Creating New Structures for Social Enterprise

Increasingly, social entrepreneurs struggle to choose a legal form for their ventures. The traditional legal forms are not suited to blended social and profit-making purposes. Mangers of a for-profit socially responsible business can find themselves liable to shareholders for failure to maximize profit at all coasts. Conversely, managers of tax-exempt nonprofits conducting social entrepreneurial activities can find themselves liable to the IRS when they try to reward investors and incentivize results.

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Van Dusen v. Commissioner: A Win for Nonprofit Volunteers

The Court reasoned that the most important consideration in determining deductibility of unreimbursed expenses is whether or not the volunteer work causes or necessitates the expense. If the expense is incurred solely in connection with one’s duties as a volunteer, such as buying food for a foster pet, the expense is deductible. If, however, the expense is one that would have been incurred regardless of one’s duties as a volunteer, such as repairs or insurance for a car that is used for personal transportation as well as transportation related to volunteer duties, the expense will be considered to have been incurred regardless of any volunteer service, thus it is not a deductible expense.

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IRS Abandons Plans for Cell Phone Guidance In Anticipation of Legislative Action

In 2009, the IRS published proposed guidance for to help employers determine how to treat employees’ personal use of cell phones (IRS Notice 2009-46). Shulman’s statements are evidence that the IRS halted development of final rules in anticipation that H.R. 390/S. 144, the Modernize Our Bookkeeping in the Law for Employees (MOBILE) Cell Phone Act of 2009 will pass. While the bills have broad support in both the House and Senate, it is unlikely that they will pass as stand-alone bills.

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IRS Permits More Organizations to File Form 990-N

The IRS today issued guidance (Revenue Procedure 2011-15) that will allow more tax-exempt organizations to file the simplified e-Postcard rather than the Form 990-EZ or the standard Form 990.

For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2010, most tax-exempt organizations whose gross annual receipts are normally $50,000 or less will be eligible to file the e-Postcard. Previously, the threshold was set at $25,000 or less. Supporting organizations of any size are still not eligible to file the Form 990-N. So, for the 2010 tax year, the new filing requirements are as follows:

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L3C Update
News and Avoiding Scams

L3C – An Update by Keren Raz

Since Charity Lawyer’s last blog post on the Low-Profit Limited Liability Company, there has continued to be significant legislative activity across the country in support of the L3C though no corresponding uptick in foundation support. Louisiana, Maine, and North Carolina have signed L3C legislation into law. These three states join the following jurisdictions in recognizing the L3C: Illinois, Michigan, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and the Crow Indian Nation of Montana. In the following states, legislators have formally introduced L3C legislation: Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia.

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