Clergy Housing Allowance Redux and Reflections

Is the religious housing allowance constitutional or not?  For the second time in the last four years, however, Wisconsin federal district court Judge Barbara Crabb has ruled the latter clergy-owned housing allowance unconstitutional, raising enormous religious liberty ramifications as well as extremely significant potential financial implications for many religious institutions. The ruling has been stayed for now, but the battle lines are well marked and controversy surrounding the issue surely will continue.  What’s different between Judge Crabb’s two rulings, and what can religious organizations expect next? 

Giving Thanks for Charitable Tax Exemption

Have you ever wondered why charities enjoy special tax exemption privileges?  Or on a deeper level, how the word “charity” came to be defined by the IRS, for Section 501(c)(3) purposes?  This article provides a short historical primer on the evolution of the term “charity,” special aspects for exempt religious organizations, and related tax theories in brief.

How Will the Latest Senate and House Bills Impact Nonprofits?

As previously outlined in our November 8th Special Alert, the U.S. House of Representatives released a Bill on November 2, setting forth the most significant proposed changes to federal tax law in more than 30 years. The following is a summary of the key provisions in the most current version of the House and Senate Bills that would impact nonprofits. Modifications to the Senate Bill were released on November 14, 2017, and major modifications to the Senate Bill provisions outlined below have been noted parenthetically for ease of reference. The Senate Bill is expected to be further marked up and modified, and BMWL will update this information periodically as major new developments impacting nonprofits are released.