Exempt Organizations

Coblentz is nationally recognized for our expertise with the complex tax and regulatory issues facing nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. At the core of our practice is our experience with corporate governance, estates and trust, and taxation law, all of which are central to the operation of tax-exempt and non-profit organizations.

We counsel on issues related to charitable contributions, fundraising, fiduciary duties of directors and trustees, governance compensation and income tax issues, investment strategies and contract negotiations. We also have substantial experience in complex structures for nonprofit organizations, including the use of supporting organizations, limited liability companies, joint ventures, partnerships and corporate subsidiaries, as appropriate for each client’s particular circumstances.

We have assisted in the reorganization of large charities, ranging from simple combinations to contentious break-ups. With interests that range from all 50 states and many foreign countries, our clients have sought our guidance in dealing with legal requirements in multiple jurisdictions. Current clients include public charities, private foundations and the social entrepreneurs and philanthropists that support them, trade associations, private schools and universities, churches and church-related entities, community development organizations and tax-exempt organizations formed to support governmental functions.

Tax Planning

Our tax attorneys are well-versed in the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c) for exempt organizations, and we have an excellent record of obtaining favorable Internal Revenue Service rulings for tax-exempt organizations seeking recognition of exempt status, as well as for private letter rulings on substantive transactions involving difficult tax questions for exempt organizations. Closer to home, we have successfully assisted a number of charities in obtaining property tax exemptions where the local assessors first denied the applications.

Social Enterprise and Philanthropic Planning

An important and growing aspect of our practice involves charitable planning for social entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Clients come to us for advice on sophisticated charitable giving techniques and creative structures for novel charitable activities, venture philanthropy and impact investments.

Trade Associations and Other Exempt Organizations

We also represent trade associations in a variety of industries, advising them on a range of issues, including corporate and tax law compliance. We are experienced in structuring complex membership arrangements and addressing their intellectual property issues.