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EO Update November 7, 2012

Issue Number: 2012-17
Inside This Issue

  1. IRS announces disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy
  2. Annual Western Conference on Tax- Exempt Organizations this month
  3. Hearing set on additional requirements for charitable hospitals
  4. IRS issues guidance on inflation adjustments for 2013
  5. Register for upcoming workshops for small and medium-sized
    charities in Virginia and Arkansas
  6. IRS announces 2013 pension plan limitations; Taxpayers may contribute up to $17,500 to their 401(k) plans in 2013
  7. IRS Exempt Organizations releases survey to small tax-exempt organizations
  8. PTIN renewal period underway for all tax professionals; Registered tax return preparer candidates urged to schedule tests

1.  IRS announces disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy


As part of its efforts to support people in the areas hit by Hurricane Sandy, the IRS is expediting the review and approval process for organizations that are applying for tax-exempt status to provide relief for Hurricane Sandy’s victims.

Often, it’s best to use existing charities, including churches and other places of worship, because they tend to have fund-raising and distribution infrastructures already in place and frequently can administer relief programs more efficiently than newly formed organizations.
 
But those who have decided they would prefer to start their own charity should apply to the IRS for tax-exempt status by filing IRS Form 1023. At the top of the form write, “Disaster Relief, Hurricane Sandy.”

The IRS will expedite those applications and ensure they meet the legal requirements for tax exemption.  

More details are in IR-2012-87, IRS Expedites Charity Applications, Urges Use of Existing Charities.

Relief also applies to tax-exempt organizations required to file Form 990 series returns with an original or extended deadline. See IR-2012-83, IRS Provides Tax Relief to Victims of Hurricane Sandy; Return Filing and Tax Payment Deadline Extended to Feb. 1, 2013.

For current information that may apply to your charity, review the following:

  • IR-2012-88, Treasury, IRS Announce Special Relief to Encourage Leave-Donation Programs for Victims of Hurricane Sandy
  • IR-2012-86, Treasury and IRS Expand Availability of Housing for Hurricane Sandy Victims
  • IR-2012-85, IRS Waives Diesel Fuel Penalty Due to Hurricane Sandy
  • IR-2012-84, IRS Announces Qualified Disaster Treatment of Payments to Victims of Hurricane Sandy
  • IR-2012-82, IRS Gives Additional Time to Taxpayers and Preparers Affected by Hurricane Sandy; File and Pay by Nov. 7

Check Help for Victims of Hurricane Sandy for the latest information.


  2.  Annual Western Conference on Tax- Exempt Organizations this month


The annual Western Conference on Tax-Exempt Organizations will be held on November 29 & 30, 2012 at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza, 251 South Olive Street in Los Angeles, CA. The two-day program for tax professionals and organization executives is jointly sponsored by IRS Exempt Organizations and Loyola Law School.


  3.  Hearing set on additional requirements for charitable hospitals


The IRS will hold a public hearing on proposed regulations that provide guidance regarding the requirements for charitable hospital organizations relating to financial assistance and emergency medical care policies, charges for certain care provided to individuals eligible for financial assistance, and billing and collections.

The public hearing is to be held on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. The IRS must receive outlines of the topics to be discussed at the public hearing by Wednesday, November 7, 2012.  Read the complete notice of public hearing for additional information.


  4.  IRS issues guidance on inflation adjustments for 2013


Revenue Procedure 2012-41 sets forth inflation adjusted items for 2013, including a number of items of interest to tax-exempt organizations, including adjustments affecting the treatment of:

  • dues paid to agricultural or horticultural organizations
  • insubstantial benefit limitations for contributions associated with charitable fundraising campaigns
  • the reporting exception for certain exempt organizations with nondeductible lobbying expenditures

  5.  Register for upcoming workshops for small and medium-sized
charities in Virginia and Arkansas


Take a moment to register for one of our upcoming workshops for small and medium-sized 501(c)(3) organizations.  Each one-day workshop, presented by experienced Exempt Organizations specialists, will explain what 501(c)(3) organizations must do to keep their tax-exempt status and comply with tax obligations.

The full-day workshops are hosted by Virginia Tech and University of Arkansas at Little Rock in their respective states. The workshops are approved by the IRS for six continuing education credits for Enrolled Agents and Registered Tax Return Preparers.

This popular introductory workshop is especially designed for administrators or volunteers who are responsible for an organization's tax compliance as well as tax professionals who work with the organizations.

Registration is now available for the following workshop dates and locations:

  • December 4 – Little Rock, AR
  • December 5 – Little Rock, AR
  • December 5 – Arlington, VA
  • January 10 – Portsmouth, VA
  • January 11 – Richmond, VA

  6.  IRS announces 2013 pension plan limitations; Taxpayers may contribute up to $17,500 to their 401(k) plans in 2013


The IRS recently announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for Tax Year 2013.  In general, many of the pension plan limitations will change for 2013 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment.  However, other limitations will remain unchanged because the increase in the index did not meet the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment.


  7.  IRS Exempt Organizations releases survey to small tax-exempt organizations


IRS Exempt Organizations has sent out a questionnaire to a sample of randomly selected tax-exempt organizations asking them to evaluate one of three different methods the IRS can use to provide tax information. All are 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts of less than $200,000 and assets less than $500,000 that reported in Tax Year 2009 on Form 990 or Form 990-EZ.  The sample also includes all tax-exempt organizations that filed Form 990-N (e-postcard) in Tax Year 2009.

The selected organizations review a sample outreach web page, then complete an online survey to evaluate the method’s effectiveness.

The survey is the final phase of a research project that will help IRS Exempt Organizations understand where small organizations go for information about tax compliance; what information and guidance they want the IRS to develop and how they would like to receive the information.

Organizations that received a letter to participate and have questions can email the IRS at tege.eo.ceo@irs.gov.


  8.  PTIN renewal period underway for all tax professionals; Registered tax return preparer candidates urged to schedule tests


The IRS reminds the nation’s 730,000 federal tax return preparers that they must renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) for 2013. Also, preparers who have a competency test requirement should take the time now to schedule an appointment for the exam.

Anyone who is a paid federal tax return preparer must register with the IRS and have a PTIN, as must all Enrolled Agents. Additionally, some return preparers have new continuing education and competency test requirements.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 05-Sep-2013