Improving IRS Charity Oversight: Responsible Congressional Delegation, Responsive IRS Rulemaking
Thursday, March 23, 2017
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Whether you think it fair or unfair, there is a large segment of American society who believes the IRS targeted conservative groups trying to obtain tax-exempt status from at least 2011-2013, leading to explosive accusations on the professional integrity and political bias of the agency.
In this lecture, Professor Hackney, James E. & Betty M. Phillips Associate Professor of Law, LSU Law Center, will clarify how this charge is unfair or at the least deeply misguided, explaining that root problem is not the alleged political litmus test by the IRS in considering tax exempt status in the charitable sector, but rather the law – both in its construction and implementation.
Congress has provided vague legal standards for the IRS to implement in the tax exempt arena, resulting in costly enforcement attempts that have undermined the public’s confidence that the laws are being enforced in a fair and impartial manner. To solve this issue, Congress should enact standards in this arena, but that the Treasury Department and the IRS ought to implement rules.
This lecture will consider the political, legal, and technical challenges to adopting such a rule-based regime for charity oversight.
Philip Hackney joined the Law Center faculty in 2011 after spending five years at the Office of the Chief Counsel of the IRS in Washington, D.C. Professor Hackney served as Senior Technician Reviewer in Exempt Organizations in the national office, where he worked on drafting IRS regulations, advising the TEGE commissioner, and litigating exempt organization tax issues.
Professor Hackney obtained his J.D. at LSU Law in 2001. While in law school, he served as the Executive Senior Editor of the LSU Law Review and graduated as a member of The Order of the Coif. From 1992 - 1999, he owned and operated a used and rare bookstore and coffee shop in Baton Rouge.
Professor Hackney started his legal career as a law clerk to the late Honorable Henry A. Politz on the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He joined Baker Botts LLP in Houston, TX in 2002 as a corporate associate working on mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, public company corporate compliance, and investigations into accounting irregularities. In 2006, he obtained an LL.M. in Taxation from the New York University School of Law and joined the Office of the Chief Counsel of the IRS in its Exempt Organizations branch of its Tax Exempt Government Entities division that same year.
Professor Hackney teaches Federal Income Tax, Partnership Taxation and Taxation of Exempt Organizations. Utilizing his experience with the IRS working with tax-exempt organizations and the non-profit community in general, his scholarship focuses on nonprofit organizations and the tax issues associated therewith. He is particularly interested in the intersection between for-profit and not-for-profit activities within these organizations.
He earned his B.A. in Political Science at Southern Methodist University in 1992.
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