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INN Training: The legal lowdown on tax exempt challenges and nonprofit news

January 30, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST

Tax exempt challenges and nonprofit news

There are numerous benefits to operating as a tax-exempt organization, but there are still significant  challenges nonprofit news organizations must navigate. INN is partnering with the law firm Sheppard Mullin to address some of the common challenges nonprofit news organizations face and ways to manage.

Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT): As nonprofit news organizations face a critical need to diversify their revenue sources, how can they grow advertising  and other revenue sources without threatening their nonprofit status? The webinar will cover:

  • The UBIT rules for common revenues sources such as advertising income
  • How much UBIT is too much and can jeopardize your organization’s tax exemption
  • How to avoid UBIT, where possible, and strategies for coping with UBIT
  • Recent changes to the UBIT rules under the federal tax reform law

Political Candidates, Campaigns and Legislation: What are the limitations and rules for tax-exempt organizations when on reporting and commenting on political candidates, campaigns and legislation so as not to expressly or indirectly promote an outcome? The webinar will cover:

  • How federal tax law could result in loss of your organization's tax-exempt status if you expressly or indirectly endorse a candidate for public office?
  • How advocating for or against legislation presents similar challenges?
  • How you can report on candidates, campaigns and legislation in a way that minimizes the risk of adverse tax consequences?

Presenters will answer questions submitted in advance to fran@inn.org.


James Chadwick is a partner in Sheppard Mullin’s Palo Alto office. For almost thirty years he has specialized in the representation of media clients, including non-profit media such as the Foundation for National Progress (publisher of Mother Jones) and others. In addition to defending media clients in litigation, he provides advice and counselling on most aspects of news publication risk and risk mitigation, including compliance with applicable IRS guidance. He also specializes in intellectual property litigation and licensing.

Tamar Rosenberg is a partner in Sheppard Mullin’s New York office and is Co-Leader of the firm’s Nonprofit Team. She specializes nonprofit corporate and tax exemption laws relating to nonprofit organizations, and advises clients on day-to-day compliance (e.g., corporate governance, tax exemption requirements), special projects and transactions. Tamar counsels nonprofits large and small working in a broad range of industries across the country.