Illinois Rejects “Amazon” Sales Tax

Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a stunning opinion, unexpectedly holding that an Illinois law requiring the collection of taxes from online sales was unenforceable because it conflicted with current federal law.   Performance Marketing Association, Inc. v. Brian Hamer, 2013 IL 114496.  This decision stands in stark contrast to a New York court ruling earlier this year, holding a similar law constitutional on other grounds.

A Little Background

“Issue Advocacy” vs. “Electioneering Communication” – More Than Words

Warning:  Organizations producing issue-related publicity could be subject to the same political campaign reporting requirements imposed on groups making “electioneering communications,” whether or not they expressly advocate a candidate.  A Vermont trial court recently fined Green Mountain Future (GMF), an issue advocacy organization registered with the IRS under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, for violation of Vermont campaign finance laws.  

Helping Out: Benevolence Guidelines

Would you like to help someone who is experiencing financial troubles?  Do you know whether your gift would be tax deductible?  These questions raise a more fundamental one:  How can a well-intentioned individual or 501(c)(3) public charity best aid those with financial needs, while maximizing available tax benefits and otherwise exercising wise financial stewardship?  The answer to these questions is for a public charity, such as a church, to develop a benevolence policy to be funded through gifts from individuals and others.