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Full-Text Articles in Law

Keep Charitable Oversight In The Irs, Philip Hackney Jan 2024

Keep Charitable Oversight In The Irs, Philip Hackney

Articles

Critics are increasingly calling for Congress to remove charity regulation from the IRS. The critics are wrong. Congress should maintain charity regulation in the IRS. What is at stake is balancing power between the state, charity as civil society, and the economic order. In a well-balanced democracy, civil society maintains its independence from the state and the economic order. Removing charitable jurisdiction from the IRS would blind the IRS to dollars placed in the charitable sector increasing tax and political shelters and wealthy dominance of charities as civil society. A new agency without understanding of, or jurisdiction over, tax cannot …


Dark Money Darker? Irs Shutters Collection Of Donor Data, Philip Hackney Jan 2021

Dark Money Darker? Irs Shutters Collection Of Donor Data, Philip Hackney

Articles

The IRS ended a long-time practice of requiring most nonprofits to disclose substantial donor names and addresses on the nonprofit annual tax return. It is largely seen as a battle over campaign finance rather than tax enforcement. Two of the nonprofits involved, social welfare organizations and business leagues, are referred to as “dark money” organizations because they allow individuals to influence elections while maintaining donor anonymity. Many in the campaign finance community are concerned that this change means wealthy donors can avoid campaign finance laws and have no reason to fear being discovered. In this Article, I focus on whether …


The 1969 Tax Reform Act And Charities: Fifty Years Later, Philip Hackney Jan 2020

The 1969 Tax Reform Act And Charities: Fifty Years Later, Philip Hackney

Articles

Fifty years ago, Congress enacted the Tax Reform Act of 1969 to regulate charitable activity of the rich. Congress constricted the influence of the wealthy on private foundations and hindered the abuse of dollars put into charitable solution through income tax rules. Concerned that the likes of the Mellons, the Rockefellers, and the Fords were putting substantial wealth into foundations for huge tax breaks while continuing to control those funds for their own private ends, Congress revamped the tax rules to force charitable foundations created and controlled by the wealthy to pay out charitable dollars annually and avoid self-dealing. Today, …


Charitable Organization Oversight: Rules V. Standards, Philip Hackney Jan 2015

Charitable Organization Oversight: Rules V. Standards, Philip Hackney

Articles

Congress has traditionally utilized standards as a means of communicating charitable tax law in the Code. In the past fifteen years, however, Congress has increasingly turned to rules to stop fraud and abuse in the charitable sector. I review the rules versus standards debate to evaluate this trend. Are Congressional rules the best method for regulating the charitable sector? While the complex changing nature of charitable purpose would suggest standards are better, the inadequacy of IRS enforcement and the large number of unsophisticated charitable organizations both augur strongly in favor of rules. Congress, however, is not the ideal institution to …


What We Talk About When We Talk About Tax Exemption, Philip Hackney Jan 2013

What We Talk About When We Talk About Tax Exemption, Philip Hackney

Articles

Under the Internal Revenue Code, certain nonprofit organizations are granted exemption from federal income tax (“tax-exemption”). Most tax-exemption rationales assume tax-exemption is a subsidy for organizations such as charities that provide some underprovided good or service. These theories assume there should be a tax on the income of nonprofit organizations but provide no justification for this assumption. This article contributes to the literature by examining the corporate income tax rationales as a proxy for why we might tax nonprofit organizations. The primary two theories hold that the corporate tax is imposed to: (1) tax shareholders (“shareholder theory”), and (2) regulate …