Archive for September, 2010

EO Tax Journal 2010-134

Paul Streckfus, September 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I’ll focus on subscribers today. It’s nice to see that a goodly number of U.S. News “Best Tax Law Firms” subscribe to these missives. I can’t take credit for their rankings, but I hope I’m adding a little to their knowledge base. Speaking of subscribers, two were in the news yesterday — Jim Bopp on CBS News and Marc Owens in the New York Times. Marc probably wasn’t too happy to have his firm described as “a law firm popular with liberals seeking to set up nonprofit groups.” And it was great to see Sarah Hall Ingram quoted, as we haven’t heard from her since April. Sounds like the TE/GE Commissioner is advocating a “vote for” or “vote against” standard for political intervention. Continue…

EO Tax Journal 2010-133

Paul Streckfus, September 20, 2010 at 8:24 am

1 – Alaska’s Sandy Deja’s Latest Interesting Tidbit — 990-N Filings

2 – “Most Disturbing Story of This Year’s Election” — New York Times Editorial

3 – Tax Issues in International Philanthropy — Outline Prepared for Friday’s ABA Meeting in Toronto Continue…

EO Tax Journal 2010-132

Paul Streckfus, September 17, 2010 at 11:01 am

1 – Follow-up to Yesterday’s Tom Brady Article

2 - EOTJ Questionnaire Results Continue…

EO Tax Journal 2010-131

Paul Streckfus, September 16, 2010 at 9:47 am

1 – Tom Brady Being Dissed in New England

As most of you know, I’m easily outraged. But it’s hard for even me to get outraged over a column in Tuesday’s Boston Globe over a “charity scandal.” While I’m reprinting the article for those who have not seen it, basically carmaker Audi is giving Tom Brady, the New England Patriots’ quarterback, the use of a car as a reward for his work with a charity, Best Buddies.

What I see is a win-win-win situation. One, the charity gets the benefit of having Tom Brady associated with it — free publicity that no doubt generates contributions from football fans to Best Buddies.

Two, Audi is just doing what corporations are expected to do — make their products attractive to the general public by having stars use and display their products.

Three, Tom Brady seems to be a decent guy who is getting the use of a car in return for his implicit or explicit endorsement. The author of the article appears to be a bit sloppy in saying that Brady got a $97,000 car. What he got it seems is the use of the car for a year, so his benefit is the cost of leasing the car for a year, which is much less than $97,000, although it appears he gets the use of a car every year, so maybe eventually it totals $97,000.

I am very much against charities selling their soul to corporations in the guise of sponsorship arrangements, where the corporation’s interests are paramount and the charity ends up as a shill for the corporation’s products. But I don’t see anything wrong with the situation that so outrages the Boston Globe’s columnist. Am I missing something here?

2 – Old Business

In regard to yesterday’s discussion of the filing requirements for 501(c)(4) organizations, John Pomeranz of Harmon, Curran, Spielberg & Eisenberg, Washington, had this to say:

“Just to supplement Marc Owens’ excellent summary of the fate of non-1024-filing 501(c)(4)s, I remind you of the attached field service advice issued by the IRS ten years ago discussing the issue. This went out because Ogden was, at the time, routinely sending such filers a Form 1120 and saying, ‘Aren’t you supposed to filing this instead?’” Continue…

EO Tax Journal 2010-130

Paul Streckfus, September 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Yesterday, I asked, “Is 501(c)(4) Status Being Abused?” I can hardly keep up with the questions and comments this query has generated. As noted yesterday, some (c)(4)s are being set up to engage in political activity, and donors like them because they remain anonymous. Some commenters are saying, “Why should we care?”, others say these organizations come and go with such rapidity that the IRS would be wasting its time to track them down, others say (c)(3) filing requirements should be imposed on (c)(4)s, and so it goes. Continue…