News & Insights: robert lyons

Navigating New York’s Rules on Tax Exemption


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  September 12, 2020

New York’s extremely complicated rules involving the exemption of tax-exempt organizations can be overlooked when an organization is formed or begins to do business in New York.

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations for Taxation of Nonprofit Executive Compensation


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  July 1, 2020

On June 11, 2020, the Treasury Department issued proposed regulations regarding the taxation of nonprofit executive compensation.

Internal Revenue Service Issues Final Regulations on Donor Disclosure Requirements


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  June 8, 2020

After much deliberation, on May 26, 2020, the IRS issued Treasury Decision (T.D.) 9898, which includes final regulations on donor disclosure requirements as well as some technical corrections.

Disaster Relief: What Are the Options for Nonprofits?


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  May 27, 2020

What can be done to help employees who have been furloughed or temporarily let go?  

Guidance for Applying ‘Silo’ Rules to Unrelated Business Taxable Income


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  April 28, 2020

On April 23, 2020, the Treasury Department issued proposed regulations for applying UBTI "silo" rules for tax-exempt organizations.

Not-for-Profit Raffles: Don't Gamble with Federal and State Requirements


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  March 26, 2020

Partner Magdalena M. Czerniawski and Director Robert Lyons discuss the federal and state filing requirements that not-for-profits engaging in raffle activities should be aware of.

Nonprofit Alert: IRS Issues Guidance on Refunds for Paid Qualified Transportation Taxes


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  January 23, 2020

The IRS has issued guidance on the steps nonprofits will need to take in order to claim a refund on taxes paid under Section 512(a)(7), commonly known as the “Transportation Tax.”

President Trump Signs Further Consolidated Appropriations Act Into Law


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  December 23, 2019

As expected, President Trump signed into law H.R. 1865 (The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020) on Friday, December 20, 2019. Two of the law’s provisions have a significant impact on nonprofit organizations.

Bipartisan Support for Repeal of Tax on Nonprofit Transportation Benefits


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  December 18, 2019

A bipartisan tax relief proposal, which includes the repeal of the tax on transportation benefits, passed the U.S. House of Representatives on December 17, 2019 and is expected to be passed by the Senate and signed by the President shortly.

Form 990-T Fiscal Year Filers: Why Did I Get This Notice?


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  October 1, 2019

Many nonprofit organizations that fell under the category of 2017 fiscal year filer are receiving an unexpected balance due or refund notices. Tax Director Magdalena M. Czerniawski examines the IRS changes responsible for these notices.

Nonprofit Alert: Change to Nondiscrimination Reporting Policy for Schools


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  May 23, 2019

After forty-four years, one of the Internal Revenue Service’s oldest requirements has passed into history, in favor of an update that recognizes how much more efficiently today’s technology allows us to communicate.

Tax Reform's Impact on Charitable Contributions


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  December 20, 2018

Almost a year ago, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) brought major tax reform to individuals, for-profit businesses and not-for-profit entities. 

Nonprofit Alert: Cuomo Signs Bill Exempting Nonprofits from NY Transportation Tax


By Robert Lyons |  Magdalena M. Czerniawski  |  December 13, 2018

On Friday, December 7, 2018, Governor Cuomo signed into New York law the much-anticipated bill exempting nonprofits who provide pre-tax transportation and parking benefits from the New York State level transportation tax. 

Nonprofit Alert: New IRS Guidance on UBTI Silos


By Magdalena M. Czerniawski |  Robert Lyons  |  September 4, 2018

On August 21, 2018, the IRS issued a Notice about new Code section 512(a)(6), which changes the way exempt organizations calculate unrelated business taxable income (UBTI). Each line of business must now be recognized separately, resulting in significant accounting changes and unanswered questions for many exempt organizations, specifically in the areas of partnership interests and net operating losses (NOLs).

Nonprofit Employers Subject to New Tax Requirements for Transportation Benefits


By Robert Lyons  |  May 25, 2018

As nonprofit employers await final guidance from the IRS on the new 21% UBIT on transportation fringe benefits, the best preventative measure to take is in the form of quarterly estimated tax payments, starting on June 15, 2018. Our nonprofit tax directors provide guidance for organizations that are currently subject, or anticipate being subject, to the corporate level tax on transportation benefits.

Nonprofit Alert: IRS Guidance on New Rules for UBIT


By Robert Lyons  |  May 21, 2018

Our nonprofit tax professionals have been monitoring comments coming out of the IRS on the new Unrelated Business Income Tax rules created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Read more on what not-for-profits can expect in the forthcoming guidance.

NY Charities Win Big in Charitable Gaming Act of 2017


By Robert Lyons  |  March 2, 2018

Like charitable organizations across the nation, charities in New York are constantly reaching out to find new sources of income. These efforts often include raffles and other gaming incentives. In New York, the potential to raise funds through raffles has been extremely limited by a very antiquated set of gaming laws, but that is soon to change.

Using Form 990 as a Marketing Tool


By Robert Lyons  |  February 2, 2018

Unlike a tax return, Form 990 is a public document open for inspection. Currently, the only part not available to the public is Schedule B, which shows contributor information. The rest stands out in all of its glory – which can be good or bad, depending on the organization.

Lobbying vs. Education and Advocacy: What Does It Mean for Your Nonprofit Organization?


By Robert Lyons  |  November 2, 2017

Charitable organizations often find themselves in the precarious position of determining the difference between lobbying, education and advocacy. This issue revolves primarily around the determination of what constitutes a lobbying expenditure versus expenditures that may be programmatic in nature. Reporting activity falling under any of the three categories can be costly – with penalties ranging from an excise tax of 25 percent on excess expenditures to loss of exemption or the loss of the ability to attract tax deductible contributions.

Minimum Distribution Requirements for Private Foundations


By Robert Lyons  |  September 18, 2015

Every year, private, non-operating foundations are faced with determining their minimum investment return in order to calculate their distributable amount. For calendar year 2014, the distributable amount is the amount that the foundation must pay out as a qualifying distribution by the end of 2015 to avoid the 30% excise tax on the undistributed portion.

In this article, director Robert Lyons provides foundation administrators with technical guidance around the appropriate timing of and planning that should go into the distributable amount’s payout.

The Definitive Guide to Income Tax Planning for Same-Sex Couples


By Robert Lyons  |  March 26, 2015

The Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor expanded the range of tax-planning considerations same-sex couples must navigate as they transition  from a tax system that disregarded their relationship to one that treats and taxes their relationship as a single economic unit.  As a result, the federal income tax ramifications of marriage may surprise some same-sex couples, particularly those who have been in relationships long before marriage was even possible.

Providing insightful guidance, The Definitive Guide to Income Tax Planning for Same-Sex Couples published in the March, 2015 issue of the Journal of Taxation  comprehensively explores these issues and opportunities The article was authored by Robert R. Lyons, tax director in the Nonprofit and Government Group at Marks Paneth LLP, Sean R. Weissbart, a trusts, estates and tax attorney with Morris & McVeigh LLP and Michael T. Meltzer, a portfolio manager at Tocqueville Asset Management LP.

You can download a copy of the article below.