Tax Exempt & State Non-Profit

Our attorneys focus on the special needs of tax-exempt organizations, helping to get new organizations off to a healthy start and staying with them as they grow and develop. Our clients include some of the largest private foundations, associations, and healthcare and educational institutions in Texas. We also represent smaller organizations, individuals, public charities, religious organizations, and hospitals, as well as individuals looking to accomplish philanthropic goals.

In the initial stages of formation, we help our clients examine the organization’s likely sources of funding, type of governance, and potential activities in order to determine the most appropriate tax-exempt structure. We also work with individuals, taking time to thoroughly understand their philanthropic goals and then helping find the best way to achieve those goals, whether it be through direct giving, a donor-advised fund, creation of a private foundation, or other tax-efficient means. Although Texas has no state income tax, certain organizations may qualify for property tax exemption under very specific rules. We seek to coordinate federal and state activities to secure the most comprehensive exemption available to our clients.

As exempt organizations grow and change, numerous challenges can arise. We help our clients address these challenges by providing advice on ongoing issues and helping to ensure that changes in the governance, activities or constitution of an organization are handled in a manner that will not adversely affect its status. Our extensive experience enables us to provide a variety of services to exempt organizations, including:

  • Addressing and resolving issues related to application of unrelated business income tax to tax-exempt organizations
  • Structuring and analyzing joint ventures between nonprofit and for-profit entities
  • Addressing and resolving issues related to prohibited private inurement and private benefit
  • Preparing and updating governing documents of all tax-exempt entities, including corporations, associations and trusts
  • Preparing and filing exemption applications, Forms 1023 or 1024, with the Internal Revenue Service
  • Addressing issues related to board makeup, structure and operation; facilitating smooth board and corporate operation
  • Assisting in maintaining tax-exempt status, including representing tax-exempt entities before the IRS and other regulatory agencies
  • Assisting in issuing tax-exempt bonds; counseling and assisting in implementation of other financing options
  • Assisting private foundations with termination of public charity status

We have expertise in the needs of exempt healthcare organizations including hospitals, hospital groups, and medical foundations. Working closely with our Healthcare practice group, we prepare applications for Section 501(c)(3) status; and provide counseling on maintaining tax-exempt status and the risks presented by various transactions; complying with IRS regulations; completing the Form 990; and addressing private inurement, private benefit and unrelated business income and other tax exempt issues. Where mergers and reorganizations are involved, we ensure that tax exemption requirements are taken into consideration.

Emily Little

Emily Little

Associate, Austin

Tara A. Potts

Tara A. Potts

Partner, Austin

Ashley P. Withers

Ashley P. Withers

Associate, Dallas

City of Austin, Texas with Jackson Walker logo

February 9, 2023
Attorney News

Jackson Walker Expands Trusts & Estates Group With Addition of Tara Potts

Jackson Walker is pleased to announce the addition of Tara A. Potts as a partner in the Trusts & Estates practice. Joining from a small transactional law firm in Austin, Tara concentrates her practice in the area of tax-exempt organizations.

April 23, 2019

Tools and Tripwires Involved in Supporting Charitable Work Abroad

The rebuilding and restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is expected to take many years to complete. Individuals in the U.S. who wish to support the efforts have time to consider all of the tools available to them.

October 10, 2018
Attorney News

Jackie Wheeler Davis Acquires Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy Designation

Jackson Walker associate Jackie Wheeler Davis has earned the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation through The American College.

April 11, 2018
Attorney News

Port Aransas Boatmen Selects Willie Hornberger as Outside General Counsel and Jackson Walker as Tournament Sponsor for the 83rd Annual Deep Sea Roundup

Port Aransas Boatmen, Inc. (PABA) has selected Dallas partner Willie Hornberger to serve as Outside General Counsel.

August 31, 2017

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Initiatives

The Governor of Texas, by way of proclamation, has exempted evacuees and relief workers from state and local hotel taxes.

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