Premier Nonprofit Tax Law Conference Draws Seasoned Practitioners, IRS Officials
LMU Loyola Law School held its 23rd-annual Western Conference on Tax Exempt Organizations (WCTEO) on Dec. 5-6, 2019 at the Convene meeting space in downtown Los Angeles. One of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious conferences focused exclusively on nonprofit tax law, the event covered regulations around political activity leading into the 2020 presidential election year and much more.
“This year the law school held the WCTEO at a new and innovative venue that describes itself as offering beautiful spaces for big ideas. Like the space, the conference served up cutting-edge analyses of the latest issues for exempt organizations, including the impact of the 2017 changes to the law,” said Professor Ellen P. Aprill, John E. Anderson Chair in Tax Law and WCTEO founder. “Attendees include all the important players in the nonprofit world: lawyers, accountants and key staff of nonprofits. The panels gave them new understandings, broad as well as deep, of the law and policy that shape this important sector of the economy.”
Panelists included a panoply of seasoned practitioners – many of them equipped with Master of Laws in Tax (Tax LLM) degrees from Loyola Law School such as Terri Wagner Cammarano JD ’88/Tax LLM ‘03 (pictured above), general counsel at Cedars-Sinai. She led the panel Innovation Centers in the Nonprofit World, which looked at ways in nonprofit incubators are driving an entrepreneurial spirit in the space.
“The Cedars-Sinai Accelerator provides innovators with seed money and, more importantly, mentorship,” she said. Showing off her Cedar-Sinai Accelerator T-shirt, she described it as emblematic to the startup mentality apparent in these emerging workspaces.
The session Step Out and Vote for Me: Nonprofits and Campaign Activity provided guidance on what level of political advocacy may be carried out by nonprofits of varying statuses. Gene Takagi, Principal at NEO Law Group, took the audience through an in-depth look at what types of lobbying and electoral activities are permissible for organizations of varying tax-exempt status.
Elsewhere, sessions like Stress Points in Exempt Organization Compliance examined specific issues like compensation reporting. And the Washington Update panel featured several IRS officials providing highlights on the latest rules and other changes.
Learn more about the WCTEO.