IRS Releases 2016 to 2017 Priority Guidance Plan

Thoughtware Article Published: Sep 01, 2016
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The IRS has released its annual Priority Guidance Plan for fiscal year 2017, which includes 281 projects considered priorities to individuals and businesses. The IRS plans to actively work on these projects, some of which were carried over from last year.

Focus areas affecting exempt organizations include:

  • Revenue procedures updating grantor and contributor reliance criteria for relying on the type of public charity reported by the organization
  • Final regulations streamlining the application process for tax-exempt status by eligible small organizations through the use of Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; temporary regulations were issued in July 2016
  • Updated guidance requiring new applications for tax-exempt status by organizations that undergo a change in structure resulting in a new legal entity
  • Proposed regulations on political campaign intervention by an exempt organization (currently suspended under the Department of the Treasury Appropriations Act, 2016)
  • Guidance regarding the notification requirements for organizations intending to operate as social welfare organizations added by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015; temporary regulations and a revenue procedure were issued in July 2016
  • Final regulations and additional guidance on supporting organizations; proposed regulations were issued in February 2016
  • Guidance regarding methods of allocating expenses for unrelated business income relating to dual-use facilities
  • Final regulations regarding qualified ABLE programs as added by the Achieving a Better Life Experience(ABLE) Act of 2014, which created state tax-exempt savings programs for people who become disabled before age 26; proposed regulations were issued in 2015
  • Guidance in determining whether self-dealing exists when a private foundation’s investment in a partnership includes partners who are disqualified persons
  • Guidance for private foundations in determining whether grants made to foreign grantees meet the requirements to be considered qualifying distributions
  • Guidance regarding the excise tax on donor-advised funds and fund management for taxable distributions to natural persons or others if there’s no expenditure responsibility and the distributions weren’t for the organization’s exempt purpose
  • Guidance on reporting contributions in an organization’s annual returns
  • Final regulations regarding the publication to state officials of exempt status changes, among other issues; proposed regulations were issued in 2011
  • Final regulations relating to restrictions on church tax inquiries and examinations as initiated when there’s reasonable belief the church may not be exempt or is carrying on an unrelated trade or business activity; proposed regulations were issued in 2009

The IRS intends to periodically update the plan as priorities shift throughout the year.

Please contact your BKD advisor with any questions.

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