Friday, June 19, 2009

Nonprofit Laws in Azerbaijan and Russia

In Azerbaijan, proposed amendments to the law would impose new restrictions on non-governmental organizations could force numerous local and international NGOs in Azerbaijan to cease operations. Part of the proposal is a requirement that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) limit their foreign funding to 50 percent. Experts say this would create a situation in which almost every foreign-funded NGO would be in non-compliance with the law. Click here to view the report in Eurasianet

In Russia, on the other hand, the New York Times reports that legislation was introduced on Wednesday to ease some of the strict regulatory burdens on nonprofit groups, in particular human rights organizations.

ACLU Critical of Terrorist Financing Laws

The ACLU released a report this week critical of the laws and regulations aimed at restricting the use of charitable funds to finance terrorist organizations. The report claims that the government’s actions have chilled American Muslims’ free and full exercise of their religion through charitable giving and documents the effect of U.S. government actions on American Muslims’ charitable giving practices in light of the laws. The report concludes that laws prohibiting material support for terrorism are in desperate need of re-evaluation and reform to make them fair and effective. Click here to view the full report (pdf).

Charitable Giving Down in 2008

Although charitable giving in the United States exceeded $300 billion for the second year in a row in 2008 according to Giving USA 2009, a report by the Giving USA Foundation,the report also notes that overall charitable giving fell last year by 2% from 2007. Two-thirds of public charities receiving donations saw decreases in 2008. The exceptions to this trend were in the areas of Religion, Public-Society Benefit and International Affairs. Click here for the press release from Giving USA. See also the NY Times account here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Patrick Sternal Makes Recommendation to IRS

The following was reported in today’s Tax Notes Today in the area where they have code sections listed.


Bar Association Reports

In a State Bar of California report, Barbara Rosen and Patrick Sternal recommended that section 508(a) and (b) be revised to provide that charities that change their form or place of incorporation not be considered new organizations subject to refiling applications for exempt status. (Release Date: MAY 18, 2009) (Doc 2009-11455)
See 2009 TNT 103-58

Legal Basics for Nonprofits - Los Angeles

Lisa Runquist and I will be speaking from 2-5pm on June 8, 2009 at the Center For Nonprofit Management on "Legal Basics for Nonprofits." Attorney Al Landegger will also be participating. As the title suggests, the program will cover the basics regarding issues of corporate governance, taxation and employment that affect nonprofit organizations. This is an excellent opportunity for officers, directors, managers and staff of nonprofit organizations to learn more about the rules of the road for nonprofits.

Click here for further information and registration.