Insights: Article

IRS 2016-2017 Priority Guidance Plan

By Deb Nelson

September 12, 2016

The Department of Treasury has released the 2016-2017 Priority Guidance PlanThis link opens a PDF document. which contains a total of 281 projects that are considered to be priorities for the fiscal year July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017. Of these projects, 15 are specific to Exempt Organizations and are summarized below.

  1. Revenue procedures updating grantor and contributor reliance criteria under §170 and §509, referring to the type of public charity status reported by organizations.
  2. Revenue procedure to update Revenue Procedure 2011-33 for EO Select Check. Revenue Procedure 2011-33 is tied to number one above on grantor and contributor reliance. EO Select CheckThis link takes you to an external website. is an online search tool allowing users to search for exempt organizations and check whether they are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions; have had their tax-exempt status automatically revoked; or have filed a Form 990-N (e-Postcard).
  3. Final regulations under §501(a), §501(c)(3), and §508 relating to streamlined application process for eligible organizations to apply for recognition of tax-exempt status under §501(c)(3). The streamlined process, Form 1023-EZ, was introduced in July 2014 for small organizations with gross receipts of less than $50,000 and total assets of less than $250,000.
  4. Update Revenue Ruling 67-390 relating to reapplying for tax-exempt status if there has been a legal structure change.
  5. Proposed regulations under §501(c) relating to political campaign intervention. This project has since been suspended by Congress.
  6. Regulations and other guidance on §506 as added by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. This refers to the notification requirement for new and certain existing 501(c)(4)s to notify the IRS shortly after formation. Final and temporary regulations were published in July 2016, along with Revenue Procedure 2016-41.
  7. Final regulations on §509(a)(3) supporting organizations. Proposed regulations were published in February 2016.
  8. Guidance under §512 regarding methods of allocating expenses relating to dual use facilities. This relates to how organizations compute unrelated business taxable income.
  9. Final regulations under §529A on Qualified ABLE Programs as added by §102 of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014. This guidance concerns state tax-exempt savings programs for individuals who become disabled before reaching age 26. Proposed regulations were published in June 2015.
  10. Guidance under §4941 regarding a private foundation’s investment in a partnership in which disqualified persons are also partners. This project is connected to self-dealing prohibitions for private foundations.
  11. Update to Revenue Procedure 92-94 on §4942 and §4945. This is specific to private foundations and the equivalency determination process for foreign grant making.
  12. Guidance regarding the excise taxes on donor advised funds and fund management. Donor advised funds became subject to additional requirements as part of the Pension Protection Act (PPA) of 2006.
  13. Guidance under §6033 relating to reporting of contributions on an organization’s annual tax filing.
  14. Final regulations under §6104(c) for disclosure of information to state officials regarding tax-exempt organizations, as part of the PPA of 2006. Proposed regulations were published in March 2011.
  15. Final regulations under §7611 relating to church tax inquiries and examinations. Proposed regulations were published in August 2009.

A majority of the projects identified have been carried over from the 2015-2016 Priority Guidance Plan. In addition to the projects identified for Exempt Organizations, there are other projects that also have an impact for the industry: charitable contributions, tax-exempt bonds and employee benefits.  The identified priorities will be addressed through regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices, and other published administrative guidance. Treasury intends to republish this plan throughout the year to address new priorities that may arise and to report on progress towards publishing guidance on the specified areas. 

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