Council Comments on Treasury/IRS Priorities 2017-2018

The Council on Foundations wrote to the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)  to urge them to prioritize several regulations and guidance documents that impact our members. Each year, the Priority Guidance Plan identifies and prioritizes those tax issues that the agencies should address through regulations or revenue rulings, procedures, notices, and guidance throughout the upcoming year.

The Council’s Legal Affairs team has a strong working relationship with IRS decision-makers, and we engage with them consistently to communicate the priorities of our members and the philanthropic field to regulators. Our comments, which are separated into domestic regulatory priorities and international grantmaking priorities, ask the Department of Treasury and IRS to include the follow items in their Priority Guidance Plan for 2017-2018:

  • Definition of funds that include advisory privilege but fall outside of the definition of donor advised funds,and the scholarship exception in Internal Revenue Code Section 4966 and 4967;
  • Guidance on foundation-sponsored student loan forgiveness programs in addition to or in replacement of scholarship programs;
  • Clarification regarding economic development as a charitable activity, including a more definitive test and/or examples of acceptable charitable activities that reflect the current needs and economic climate in many communities;
  • Guidance on political activity for section 501(c)(3) organizations;
  • An update to Revenue Procedure 92-94, which governs equivalency determinations for charities overseas;
  • Guidance on U.S. grantmaking with regard to the classification of Mexican charities under the U.S.-Mexico Income Tax Convention;
  • A request for removing barriers to cross-border grantmaking, especially to conflict and famine zones; and
  • A modification of the definition of “withholdable payment” under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

If you have questions or would like more information on these submitted comments, please contact the Legal team, please contact them at 


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