Meghan R. Biss

  • Associate at Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered (67 Attorneys)
  • One Thomas Circle NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005
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Meghan Biss joined Caplin & Drysdale's Exempt Organizations practice group as Of Counsel in January 2018 after more than a decade with the Internal Revenue Service. She draws on that experience to help charities, other tax-exempt organizations, and donors navigate IRS processes and achieve their programmatic and philanthropic goals.

Serving as the sole technical advisor to the Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS from 2015 to 2018, she advised on all matters involving tax-exempt organizations, including an overhaul of the application process and enhancements to the data-driven approach to examinations. Ms. Biss played a critical role in drafting administrative policies and procedures implemented pursuant to congressional recommendations and worked closely with the IRS Commissioner’s Office on its report to Congress on these measures, as well as on other projects.

Ms. Biss collaborated with IRS Chief Counsel and the Treasury Department in the development of regulations and guidance on donor-advised funds, supporting organizations, equivalency determinations, and political campaign intervention activities. She worked closely with IRS Division Counsel and the Department of Justice on exempt organization litigation. In addition, Ms. Biss oversaw the implementation of legislation impacting tax-exempt organizations, and she represented Exempt Organizations in interactions with congressional committees, the inspector general’s office, and other federal agencies.

Earlier in her government career, Ms. Biss worked on a broad range of issues, including disaster relief, unrelated business income tax (UBIT), excess benefit transactions, charter schools and private schools, and environmental issues.

Ms. Biss is a frequent speaker on legal matters pertaining to exempt organizations. Before going to law school, Ms. Biss worked in corporate recovery of insurance proceeds for claims arising from environmental contamination.

Government Experience

Senior Technical Advisor to the Director of Exempt Organizations, Internal Revenue Service, 2012-2018

Tax Law Specialist, Internal Revenue Service, 2009-2012

Presidential Management fellow, Internal Revenue Service, 2007-2009

Special Attorney, Tax Division, Civil Appellate Section, U.S. Department of Justice, 2008

Awards & Rankings

•Commissioner’s Award, Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act 529A and Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO) Implementation Team, May 2017
•Distinguished Service Award, Tax Exempt and Government Entities, January 2018

Recent Publications

• Tax Problems Loom in the College Admissions Scandal, with Victor A. Jaramillo, Alison F. Egan, and Moshe A. Dlott, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, March 18, 2019
• What You Need to Know About the New Tax on Excess Nonprofit Compensation, with Sharon P. Want, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, January 11, 2019
• IRS Issues Guidance on Calculating Unrelated Business Income Tax, with William D. Fournier, Sharon P. Want, and Douglas N. Varley, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, August 23, 2018
• Mergers, Acquisitions, and Conversions in the Context of Nonprofit Organizations, with Sharon P. Want, ABA Business Law Today, August 14, 2018
• IRS Donor Disclosure Requirements Eliminated for Most Nonprofit Organizations, with William D. Fournier, Sharon P. Want, Douglas N. Varley, and William M. Klimon, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, July 17, 2018
• IRS Guidance Removes Obstacle to Restructuring Tax-Exempt Organizations, with William M. Klimon, Sharon P. Want, and Douglas N. Varley, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, March 8, 2018
• New IRS Procedures Will Impact Nonprofits, with Douglas N. Varley, Sharon P. Want, and William D. Fournier, Caplin & Drysdale Client Alert, January 25, 2018

Recent Speaking Engagements

•Speaker, UBIT Issues & Tax Reform, Washington Non-Profit Legal & Tax Conference, March 29, 2019
•Speaker, View of Sector: Government Shutdown and Practical Guidance for EOs Navigating the Post TCJA World, TEGE Exempt Organizations Council, 2019 Exempt Organizations Update, February 22, 2019
•Moderator, Remarks from the Director of Exempt Organizations, TEGE Exempt Organizations Council, 2019 Exempt Organizations Update, February 22, 2019
•Moderator, Update on Developments Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, ABA Section of Taxation, 2019 ABA Midyear Meeting, January 18, 2019
•Panelist, A View of the Sector One Year Later: Revisiting Tax Reform and Other Legislative Developments for Tax-Exempt Organizations, The University of Texas School of Law CLE, Nonprofit Organizations Institute, January 17, 2019
•Speaker, Transaction, Accounting, Payment and Contribution Landmines, National Business Institute, Top Mistakes Nonprofits Make Seminar, October 29, 2018
•Moderator, Straight from the Horse's Mouth: IRS TE/GE Update, AICPA Governmental and Not-for-Profit Training Program Conference, October 16, 2018
•Panelist, IRS/State AG Audit Survival Stories, AICPA Governmental and Not-for-Profit Training Program Conference, October 16, 2018
•Speaker, UBTI Tax Reform, TEGE Exempt Organizations Council Program: TEGE Exempt Organizations Update, June 15, 2018
•Speaker, M&A Issues for Nonprofit Organizations, 501 Forum, May 15, 2018
•Panelist, New Section 512(a)(6): Unrelated Business Taxable Income Silos - Separating the Corn from the Wheat, 2018 ABA Section of Taxation May Meeting, May 11, 2018
•Panelist, Nonprofit M&A: Advanced Issues, ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting, April 13, 2018
•Speaker, Employment Tax Issues for EOs, 2018 Joint TE/GE Council Meeting - Exempt Organizations (EO) Update, February 23, 2018

Recent News

•CNN Quotes Scott Michel and Meghan Biss on Tax Impact of College Admissions Scandal, CNN, March 22, 2019
•MEDIA ADVISORY: Tax Problems Loom in the College Admissions Scandal, Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, March 18, 2019
•Caplin & Drysdale Honors the Women of the Firm, Caplin & Drysdale, March 8, 2019
•Meghan Biss Comments on New Requirements for Nonprofits with D.C. Tax-Exempt Status, Bloomberg Law, February 27, 2019
•Meghan Biss Comments on Possible IRS Guidance During Government Shutdown, Tax Notes, January 23, 2019
•Bloomberg Law Quotes Christopher Rizek and Meghan Biss on Impact of Growing IRS Backlog During Shutdown, Bloomberg Law, Daily Tax Report, January 23, 2019
•10 Caplin & Drysdale Attorneys Contribute to ABA's Annual Section of Taxation Midyear Meeting, January 3, 2019
•Meghan Biss Talks to Tax Notes: Guidance on UBTI Allocations Allows ‘Good Faith' Interpretations, Tax Notes, August 22, 2018
•9 Caplin & Drysdale Attorneys Contribute to ABA's Annual Section of Taxation Meeting, Caplin & Drysdale, May 9, 2018
•Tax Notes Quotes Meghan Biss on Impact of New Excise Tax for Nonprofits, Tax Notes, March 8, 2018
•Caplin & Drysdale Welcomes Former IRS Nonprofit Senior Technical Adviser and Strengthens Tax Controversies and Private Client Groups, Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered, January 16, 2018

Areas of Practice (1)

  • Exempt Organizations

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
202-862-7866  Phone
University Attended:
Frostburg State University, B.S., Theater Arts, 2001
Law School Attended:
American University Washington College of Law, J.D., cum laude, Moot Court Honor Society (ABA National Appellate Advocay Competition Award for National Best Brief, 2007
Year of First Admission:
District of Columbia; Maryland

Other Professional Affiliations

Member, American Bar Association


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