Archive for January, 2011

EO Tax Journal 2011-10

Paul Streckfus, January 17, 2011 at 9:53 am

On Friday, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) held a briefing on Senator Grassley’s Staff Report and its implications featuring Dan Busby, ECFA President, and Michael Batts, Chair of ECFA’s Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations. For information on the Staff Report, see Email Update 2011-4. For information on ECFA and its Commission, see the ECFA website (

The purpose of the briefing was to address issues contained in the Grassley Staff Report that will be considered by the Commission. Each issue was introduced by Busby for comment by Batts. Continue…

EO Tax Journal 2011-9

Paul Streckfus, January 14, 2011 at 8:28 am

1 – Follow-up to Yesterday’s Email

2 – Georgetown Law School’s Annual EO Program

3 – Interview with Dean Zerbe Continue…

EO Tax Journal 2011-8

Paul Streckfus, January 13, 2011 at 9:13 am

A little bit of this and that today.

1 – Move to K Street (Literally)

2 – Continuing Section 7611 Concerns

3 – IRS Releases Fourth EO Revenue Procedure Update and Adds a Fifth One to the Annual Updates Continue…

EO Tax Journal 2011-7

Paul Streckfus, January 12, 2011 at 9:02 am

In regard to Monday’s email update, Theresa Pattara, in her personal capacity, has this to say:

“Paul, I write with the usual disclaimer that I make when I speak publicly, i.e., I am not speaking, or in this case, writing, on behalf of Senator Grassley or his office. But I couldn’t help but write since I got a chuckle out of reading your post on Monday — it made me think of Goldilocks and The Three Bears. I’d put you in the ‘porridge is too cold’ category because you don’t think the Senator went far enough. Of course there are plenty who think the ‘porridge is too hot’ because the Senator shouldn’t be considering these issues at all. It’s the same criticism he received in 2004 when the staff proposals regarding general charity reform were issued and then again when the hospital proposals were issued.

“Many thought that the 2005 report issued by the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, convened to respond to the 2004 staff proposals, wouldn’t result in anything. Yet, many of the ideas addressed in it — and some that weren’t in the Panel’s report — were included one year later in the Pension Protection Act of 2006. This despite the fact that many thought the provisions, particularly those regarding supporting organizations and donor advised funds, would be removed in conference.

“With respect to hospitals, Senator Grassley had a longer timeframe. He wrote to ten hospital systems in 2005, issued the staff summary of those responses and held a hearing in 2006, issued staff proposals and sponsored a roundtable in 2007, and then negotiated common sense reforms into the 2009 Senate version of the health care bill. Many thought the hospital provisions would similarly be on the chopping block since he ultimately wound up not supporting the larger package.  Yet, the provisions stayed in because both the Catholic Health Association (CHA) and Congress agreed they were common sense reforms. And, unlike other provisions of the healthcare bill, they will not be subject to repeal. Continue…

EO Tax Journal 2011-6

Paul Streckfus, January 11, 2011 at 8:50 am

Today, I’m reprinting the Supreme Court’s decision in Mayo Foundation v. U.S. I’ve always seen the never-ending litigation involving medical residents as an attempt by hospitals to deprive their residents of the benefits and protections of Social Security coverage. Congratulations to Cathy Livingston and her folks for pursuing these cases as well as the attorneys at the Department of Justice.

I’m also reprinting from the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2010 Annual Report to Congress — Most Serious Problem #8 — “The Failure of the Office of Appeals to Adequately Document Prohibited Ex Parte Communications May Violate Taxpayer Rights and Damage the Public’s Perception of its Independence.”

In the discussion of Most Serious Problem #8, there is an interesting dissertation on the appeals process, which should be of interest to EO practitioners considering same. In addition, there is expressed in the report a rather strong disagreement between the Taxpayer Advocate and the Office of Appeals.

Since we’re talking bureaucratic legalese here, the back-and-forth is not on a par with those late seventies exchanges on SNL between Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd (“Jane, you ignorant slut” and “Dan, you pompous ass”), but I wouldn’t be surprised if the two sides weren’t thinking along those lines. To quote the new philosopher king, Rex Ryan, “This is personal.” Here are parts of the report I found amusing: Continue…