Tax-Exempt Organizations

Overview

"Every individual I have met at Blank Rome is impressive. They are strong in all areas. They are my first choice as counsel and will remain so.”

— Client feedback, Chambers USA

With assets totaling in the trillions, tax-exempt organizations represent some of the most powerful entities today. As a result, tax laws governing them are becoming increasingly complex and strict. To thrive under these conditions requires a savvy approach built on a foundation of corporate, legal, and regulatory knowledge.

Blank Rome attorneys offer tax-exempt organizations—including hospitals, universities, private foundations, and charitable trusts—counsel and representation on a full range of tax, trust and estate, healthcare, and corporate issues backed by corporate attorneys, litigators, and former government regulators. We understand the ins and outs of tax law and evolving regulations, and we can provide a practical strategy based on your organization’s unique position.

How We Can Help

  • investments in joint ventures (with nonprofits and for-profits)
  • charitable giving
  • tax controversies
  • involvement in lobbying and political activities
  • subsidiary organizations
  • unrelated business income tax
  • complex real estate transactions
  • corporate sponsorship and intermediate sanctions
  • reviewing investments in private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge funds, lending funds, and other private investment funds
  • other excise taxes under Chapter 42 of the Internal Revenue Code

What Sets Us Apart

  • Attorneys with a broad understanding of the business and legal complexities which face tax-exempt institutions, including: 
    • The author of the highly regarded book, Joint Ventures Involving Tax Exempt Organizations.
    • A tax professor and the author of a treatise, “Tax Planning for Highly Compensated Individuals.”
    • Former CPAs and members of “Big Four” national tax practices. 
  • We frequently represent clients in rule-making proceedings and shape and advance tax policy objectives before the U.S. Treasury Department, including the Internal Revenue Service.

Experience

  • Represented exempt organizations before the IRS and state tax authorities in examinations of tax returns and litigation of tax controversies.
  • Litigated tax controversies before a variety of federal courts.
  • Advised private foundations on self-dealing, program-related investments and expenditure responsibility.
  • Obtained IRS “determination letters” that exempt organizations from federal taxation.
  • Negotiated resolutions of IRS controversies with top officials in the Office of Chief Counsel and top officials of the Tax Exempt & Government Entities Division.
  • Minimized unrelated business taxable income.
  • Structured joint ventures and other strategic alliances between exempt organizations and for-profit enterprises, including healthcare entities.
  • Established taxable subsidiaries and other affiliates of exempt organizations, including healthcare organizations.
  • Structured licensing arrangements between exempt organizations and for-profit enterprises.
  • Advised on tax aspects of Internet activities.
  • Advised on executive compensation in light of intermediate sanctions, and successfully negotiated a closing agreement resolving all Section 4958 issues.
  • Established politically active exempt organizations as social welfare organizations, labor organizations, or political organizations, depending on which is most advantageous.
  • Advised exempt organizations on international philanthropy, planned giving programs, and structuring charitable gifts.
  • Representation of university endowments and private foundations with respect to investments in private investment funds.