Beginning May 16, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a series of hearings on the tax-exempt sector and the Internal Revenue Service's oversight of tax-exempt activities.
The subcommittee's goal is to determine whether tax-exempt organizations are operating efficiently and whether the laws governing our sector are being applied fairly and evenly.
Issues the subcommittee will examine include:
· Reporting requirements for tax-exempt hospitals.
· Good governance standards.
· The redesign of Form 990.
In addition, the hearing will discuss the history of recent legislative changes to the tax code dealing with tax-exempt organizations and what prompted those changes.
In announcing the hearing, Oversight Subcommittee Chair Charles Boustany (R-LA) noted that:
As of 2008, 1.85 million organizations qualified for tax-exempt status, and 1.18 million qualified as charitable organizations under section 501(c)(3). In 2008, charitable organizations had $2.5 trillion in assets. It is estimated that tax-exempt organizations employ approximately 10% of the U.S. workforce (charitable organizations employ 7% of the U.S. workforce).
In view of the importance of tax-exempt status to the LeadingAge membership and the people we serve, we will closely monitor the subcommittee's work on these issues and urge Congress not to add more reporting requirements to those enacted a few years ago.
Congressional and public concern about tax-exempt status often focuses on organizations' governance and their efforts to meet the needs of vulnerable populations in their communities. LeadingAge has posted tools to help you develop and account for your organization's social accountability.
(Cory Kallheim, LeadingAge)