The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) that went into effect on January 1, 2018 significantly impacts nonprofit organizations. The Act changes how unrelated business income to calculate UBIT must be calculated, requires employer paid excise tax on annual compensation in excess of $1 Million and on excess parachute payments paid to certain employees, and alters the tax treatment of employer paid expenses for transportation, parking expenses and athletic facilities. We have addressed those changes in other articles in our Newsletter. In this article, we will discuss how the Act gives rise to possible changes in charitable giving, establishes new tax withholding tables for employees and assesses an excise tax on certain university endowments. The Act did not, however, repeal the Johnson Amendment, which was on the table for elimination in earlier versions of the Act.
Maame A. Nyamekye
Ms. Nyamekye’s practice is focused in the areas of church law, business law, and nonprofit law. She represents churches, business, and nonprofit organizations while serving as a member of the Office of General Counsel to one of the nation’s largest Christian denominations. Ms. Nyamekye assisted with the recent merger of two Jewish synagogues.
Ms. Nyamekye commenced her legal career as an intern at the Supreme Court of the United States. While at the University of Baltimore School of Law, she served as the Managing Editor of the Journal of Land and Development. Ms. Nyamekye also served as a Research Assistant for University of Baltimore’s law professor, Cassandra Harvard, conducting extensive research on financial inclusion policies and banking law. During law school, she served as an intern and law clerk at The Law Offices of Erika E. Cole, LLC.
Ms. Nyamekye graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law, cum laude, and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a double concentration in Business Law and Sports Management from Marymount University.
Memberships & Activities
- Member: Maryland State Bar Association
- Member: Association of Community Services for Howard County, Education and Professional Development Committee
- Member: American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Ethics Committee
A Giving Statement is a formal written acknowledgement of a donation provided by the charitable organization recipient of the gift. The IRS has made clear that a donor “cannot claim a tax deduction for any single contribution of $250 or more unless the donor obtains a contemporaneous, written acknowledgment of the contribution from the recipient organization.” (IRS Publication 1771). Likewise, tax-exempt charitable organizations are required under the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) to provide written acknowledgements of donations to donors under certain circumstances.
There are only a few rules in Maryland for a legal entity to remain compliant with State requirements. Unfortunately, a variety of reasons including inattentiveness to legal matters, staff turnover and lack of knowledge, yields a high number of non-compliant entities. Though lack of good standing and non-compliance can be rectified, it poses an otherwise unnecessary expense for entities such as churches that often need to count their pennies. And, more importantly, it can cause liability exposure for church leaders personally.
In the wake of the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, the media has been dissecting the response to the crisis – by hospitals, police, emergency transport, concert venue, etc. It is clear that having a plan in place and training on how to execute the plan is vital to an effective response. Recent church shootings make it clear that emergencies do occur in churches. Having a viable response plan in place is critical to the safety and well-being of congregants, visitors and staff and will serve to minimize potential liabilities of the church for failure to appropriately respond.
Erika E. Cole, The Church Attorney® to Launch Church and Faith-Based Organization Practice at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP announced today that Erika E. Cole, a preeminent non-profit organization attorney with a significant reputation among churches and faith-based organizations, has joined the firm as a Partner as of July 1, 2017. Mrs. Cole is one of only a handful of attorneys in the U.S. practicing exclusively in the area of church law. Over the course of the past 12 years, she has built a national reputation as The Church Attorney®.