Recent years have seen federal and state governments increase their scrutiny of tax-exempt organizations. In particular the IRS, Congress and several states have shown a keen interest in the role of executive compensation in organizations with tax-exempt status, as well more interest overall operations of charities, trade associations, civic groups and foundations operating with tax-exempt status.
Enter the Meltzer Lippe Tax-Exempt Organizations practice group which, combined with the firm’s nationally renowned tax practice, regularly represents tax-exempt organizations in the complicated area of charitable planning and the structuring and operations of nonprofit organizations under federal and state laws. For many we act as general counsel in daily operations, while others turn to us on select matters arising from complex transactions and issues in dealing with for-profit entities, both tax and regulatory.
We handle all aspects of obtaining, as well as maintaining, tax-exempt status and are experienced in a broad spectrum of federal tax issues confronting tax-exempt organizations. We provide tax-exempt organizations comprehensive services in the areas of tax planning and compliance; IRS controversy resolution and litigation; non-tax services, such as structuring and operations, employee benefits and international operational planning and compliance; lobbying and advocacy; minimizing or avoiding excise taxes; day-to-day counsel in all aspects of operations, fundraising and grant making; counsel regarding Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) and joint ventures; as well as overall corporate compliance.
Many organizations engage the collective expertise of our International Tax and Tax-Exempt Organizations attorneys to address complex issues and regulations presented by cross-border operations and transactions. These issues may include, but are not limited to, compliance with: international trade and regulatory bodies, rules governing inbound and outbound foreign investments, and Foreign Account Tax Compliance (FATCA) and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
With a Tax-Exempt practice including attorneys formerly with the IRS Chief Counsel’s Office and U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy there are few practices that possess more in-depth knowledge and a better working relationship with the IRS, Treasury, and other government agencies; thus enabling us to represent clients effectively and efficiently on regulatory issue of significance.
For instance, we regularly provide clients insight on legislative trends and often alert them to regulatory or legislative developments in advance of public announcement. This forward-looking approach allows us to guide clients safely through what, at times, often feels like a maze of tax and procedural obligations.
When the situation demands it we are well-positioned and experienced in obtaining private letter rulings; negotiating with the IRS; helping clients plan for audits; handling audits; effectively managing controversies in an administrative manner; and, if circumstances dictate, addressing the revocation of tax-exempt status.
Clients confronted with serious circumstances regularly turn to the Meltzer Lippe Tax-Exempt practice to resolve tax and penalty issues in a manner that avoids litigation, results in favorable terms for the client, and avoids the unwanted publicity and negative impacts of a costly tax litigation. However, when all else fails, Meltzer Lippe clients may also rely on a practice group with uncommonly broad experience in tax litigation before the U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. District, and Federal Appellate Courts.
For clients looking to resolve an issue before it arises, Meltzer Lippe offers internal review to spot and correct organizational noncompliance with federal and state tax laws. With more than a dozen LL.M.’s in Taxation and multiple attorney/C.P.A.’s we are exceptionally qualified to perform such internal investigations and recommend action to correct noncompliance proactively.