Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP


Tax-Exempt Organizations Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

With 60-years of experience representing tax-exempt organizations, our practice advising universities and related medical centers, hospitals, public and private grant-making organizations, religious organizations, social welfare organizations, trade associations and other non-profit entities is extensive.

Sutherland provides informed and experienced advice and representation to a wide range of tax-exempt organizations and their supporters in the areas of tax law compliance and controversies; corporate law; financing; intellectual property; employee contracts, compensation and benefits; fiduciary responsibilities of board members, officers and employees; acquisition, construction or leasing of facilities; political campaign's and lobbying; corporate governance; and various other legal matters.

Some of the more frequent assignments undertaken include:

  • Negotiating agreements among multiple tax-exempt organizations or between tax-exempt organizations and business entities.
  • Design, formation, organization and qualification of new tax-exempt organizations such as hospitals, clinics, medical and scientific research organizations, policy organizations, public charities, social services organizations, religious affiliates, private foundations, operating foundations, supporting organizations, trade associations, and social welfare organizations
  • Reorganization of tax-exempt organizations, particularly academic medical centers, hospital systems and private foundations
  • Design and implementation of tax-efficient charitable giving programs or instruments for individuals, families and business corporations
  • Developing grant-making policies, procedures, agreements and other documentation
  • Responding to governmental agency inquiries and investigations, including those by state attorneys general, legislative inquiries and investigations, and potential legislative changes affecting tax-exempt organizations
  • Representing clients in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) controversies, including audits, administrative appeals, revocation proceedings and litigation, and before the IRS National Office in connection with requests for rulings and technical advice
  • Advising on the additional rules and regulations governing private foundations, including minimum annual distributions, self-dealing, excess business holdings,  jeopardy investments and taxable expenditures
  • Securing intellectual property protection, defending intellectual property rights and negotiating sale or licensing of intellectual property rights
  • Serving as bond counsel, underwriters’ counsel or borrower’s counsel in tax-exempt financings
  • Formation and operation of captive insurance companies and risk retention groups
  • Formulating investment policies and procedures, assuring compliance with the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act and assisting with due diligence investigations of private equity and other alternative investments
  • Advising on the solicitation and use of endowment funds and the development of endowment policies, procedures and other documentation
  • Design of technology transfer arrangements for research institutions
  • Sutherland draws on the knowledge and experience of its lawyers firm-wide to assist its tax-exempt clients.

Sutherland draws on the knowledge and experience of its lawyers firmwide to assist its tax-exempt clients.

Selected Experience
Sutherland assists in establishing and implementing a new nonprofit medical research organization.
Sutherland created the structure and assisted in the implementation of a significant new nonprofit medical research organization that focuses on using wireless communications and other advanced technologies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness and extend the reach of healthcare services to underserved populations across the country and around the world.

Sutherland represents a large public university in an IRS audit.
Sutherland represented a large public university in connection with its multi-year audit by the IRS as part of the IRS's Colleges and Universities Compliance Project, and advises on other tax compliance matters.

Sutherland defends a large supporting organization successfully against federal income tax penalties and subsequently helps secure tax law changes.
Sutherland defended a large supporting organization against substantial federal income tax penalties with no penalties imposed. We subsequently secured changes in federal tax regulations that preserve the organization's status.