Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division Releases FY 2018 Work Plan

The IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (TE/GE) released its fiscal year 2018 work plan on September 28. The work plan summarizes TE/GE’s fiscal year 2017 accomplishments and highlights its focus for its 2018 fiscal year. Like last year’s work plan, this year’s plan continues to stress efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency as key elements of TE/GE’s endeavors.

The work plan notes that a new Compliance, Planning and Classification (CP&C) unit was implemented in May 2017, streamlining and consolidating processes occurring in functions within TE/GE and providing more comprehensive approach to identify, research, and monitor compliance risks by using data analytics. The Exempt Organizations Division (EO) of TE/GE also created and posted new issue snapshots for charities and non-profits.

In fiscal year 2018, TE/GE will launch the Compliance Strategy Tool and an Internal Submission Portal to collect input into areas of non-compliance. Additionally, in early 2018, EO will implement revisions to Form 1023-EZ, including a required activity description and additional questions on gross receipts, asset thresholds, and foundation classification. EO will continue pre-determination reviews of a statistical sample of Form 1023-EZ applications and will examine entities that filed and received exemption using Form 1023-EZ.

President Trump Signs Hurricane Relief Tax Bill

On September 29, President Trump signed into law the Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017 (H.R. 3823). The bill modifies several tax provisions for individuals and businesses in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, while also funding the Federal Aviation Administration through March 31, 2018.

Among the disaster relief provisions, the legislation temporarily suspends the percentage limitations on charitable contribution deductions for “qualified contributions” made for relief efforts in the Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, or Hurricane Maria disaster areas. Qualified contributions must be paid in cash between August 23, 2017 and December 31, 2017 to a public charity (described in section 170(b)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code) other than a supporting organization or a donor advised fund, and the charity must provide a written acknowledgement that the contribution was used (or is to be used) for hurricane relief efforts. The relief provisions of the legislation also includes provisions regarding early retirement plan withdrawals for qualified hurricane distributions, employment-related tax credits, deductions for personal casualty losses, and income requirements for the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit.