Tax-Exempt Organizations and Charitable Giving

BakerHostetler applies common-sense, state-of-the-art philosophies and strategies that are best suited to our clients’ planning needs and charitable goals. We partner with clients to fulfill missions that improve communities and society in responsible and tax-efficient ways. Our attorneys understand the myriad regulatory and compliance challenges in charitable giving and the operations of charitable and other tax-exempt organizations. In addition, many of our attorneys serve on a wide range of non-profit boards. Our deep understanding and commitment to the non-profit sector helps us to provide legal advice that is both sound and practical.

Clients benefit from our comprehensive knowledge of public charities, private foundations, planned giving and bequest programs, charitable gift annuity and donor-advised fund programs, supporting organizations, charitable split-interest trust agreements, pooled income funds, endowment funds, and other tools that maximize the tax advantages of giving and receiving.

Our attorneys actively participate in professional and industry organizations focused on tax-exempt organization and charitable tax planning issues, and work within their communities as advisors for gift-planning boards of tax-exempt organizations. We work closely with the firm’s legislative and policy team to ensure that a charitable client’s best interests are fully represented on legislative and regulatory issues that can impact organizations and their donors.

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For tax-exempt organizations, we:

  • Advise a variety of organizations including healthcare systems, trade associations, private foundations, civic and social welfare organizations, community foundations, mission-focused public charities, universities, religious, and other organizations.
  • Help organizations obtain and maintain tax-exempt status.
  • Provide counsel on all operational aspects, including reporting, tax obligations, and regulatory compliance.
  • Address all interactions with tax authorities, including filing annual returns such as IRS Forms 990, 990-PF, and 990-T, and any controversies related to compliance with all relevant requirements.
  • Provide board training and help develop grant-making and other policies and procedures.
  • Train development professionals and other staff in giving options, proper documentation, and fiduciary issues.
  • Provide counsel in unique and complex situations, such as those concerning the relationship between non-profit organizations and their for-profit subsidiaries and sponsors joint ventures, and transactions with organization “insiders.”
  • Assist with compensation, bonus/incentive, and benefit plan matters.

Our team has specialized experience in the healthcare industry. We have worked with non-profit hospitals and healthcare providers on matters as diverse as mergers and affiliations, sale of assets to investor-owned corporations, design and structure of joint ventures, and establishing “conversion” foundations from the sale of tax-exempt health systems. We also provide guidance to these entities during the IRS exemption application process, annual compliance cycle, and IRS and state audits and examinations.

For individuals and their families, we:

  • Help design and execute tax-wise charitable giving techniques which best suit their philanthropic goals.
  • Structure, form, and help administrate charitable trusts and family foundations.
  • Ensure family philanthropic vehicle compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations on private foundation investments and operations.
  • Advise family foundations with respect to the development of defined missions and ways to successfully plan for multi-generational governance and leadership succession.
  • Minimize estate taxes and protect family assets.
  • Emphasize creative planning and the use of trust vehicles to leverage tax exclusions and credits.
  • Augment the tax efficiency of large estates with sophisticated split-interest charitable trusts, including charitable lead trusts, and charitable remainder trusts.
  • Secure Private Letter Rulings and other guidance from the IRS to allow effective and secure income, gift, estate, and generation-skipping tax planning.

Select Experience

  • Deliver ongoing advice and services to health care systems and providers regarding various issues, including the structure of joint ventures, compliance with the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, annual information return reporting and other business and operational issues.
  • Advise various corporations on company-related private foundation issues, including charitable contributions, self-dealing, excess business holdings, and employee assistance programs.
  • Provide ongoing advice to large private foundation engaged in sophisticated grant-making, including program-related investments and loans.
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Experience

  • Deliver ongoing advice and services to health care systems and providers regarding various issues, including the structure of joint ventures, compliance with the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, annual information return reporting and other business and operational issues.
  • Advise various corporations on company-related private foundation issues, including charitable contributions, self-dealing, excess business holdings, and employee assistance programs.
  • Provide ongoing advice to large private foundation engaged in sophisticated grant-making, including program-related investments and loans.
  • Counsel private foundations on international grant-making and public charity equivalency determinations.
  • Assist organizations with conflict of interest policies and procedures to ensure compliance with “best practices” and excess benefit transaction safe harbor procedures.
  • Assist community foundations and similar organizations with various planned giving matters, including conversion of private foundations to donor-advised funds and supporting organizations.
  • Counsel various tax-exempt entities regarding complex compensation and “insider” transaction issues.
  • Advise private foundations regarding operation of employee scholarship, disaster relief, and matching gift programs.
  • Provide advice to tax-exempt entities regarding managing and minimizing unrelated business taxable income (UBTI).

Recognition

  • Baker HostetlerChambers USA 2013 ranks BakerHostetler’s Tax practice among the leading practices in the District of Columbia.
  • Chambers USA 2013 ranks six BakerHostetler Tax partners among our California, Ohio, and Washington, D.C., offices.
  • BakerHostetler received a 2014 “Best Law Firms” National Tier 1 Ranking in the areas of Litigation – Tax, Tax Law and Trusts & Estates Law from U.S. News – Best Lawyers®.
  • Twenty-seven partners were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2014 in various tax-related fields.
    Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC.
  • 2013 Who’s Who Legal recognized two Tax partners in the area of Corporate Tax.