A Peek Inside Fraternal Societies - 501(c)(8) and 501(c)(10)s

From a federal tax perspective, what characteristic do the following organizations share:  The Elks Lodge, the Moose Lodge, the Knights of Columbus, the Order of the Eastern Star, the Freemasons, and the Shriners?  They are all “fraternal societies” under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) sections 501(c)(8) and 501(c)(10).  These organizations are therefore tax-exempt, although unlike Section 501(c)(3) organizations, they are not qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions unless such contributions are to be used exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational pu

Supreme Court to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases

Today (January 16, 2015) the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to four cases appealed from the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on the issue of same-sex marriage.  The Court’s decision to hear the cases addresses the recent split between the federal circuits on the issue.  At issue are the following: (1) whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to license marriage between two people of the same sex, and (2) whether states must recognize marriages between same-sex couples performed in other states. 

Restricted Gifts: Clarity is the Best Policy

When it comes to large donations for special philanthropic projects or goals, clarity is essential for both satisfied donors and responsible nonprofit organizations. The recent case of Register v. The Nature Conservancy (Dec. 9, 2014), which was decided by a Kentucky federal trial court, amply demonstrates this principle.