Research Handbook on Not-For-Profit Law
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Research Handbook on Not-For-Profit Law

Edited by Matthew Harding

This Research Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of scholarship on not-for-profit law. The chapters, written by world leading experts, explore key ideas and debates in relation to: theories of the not-for-profit sector, the composition and scope of that sector, not-for-profit organisations and the constitution, the legal conception of charity, the tax treatment of not-for-profit organisations and the regulation of not-for-profits. The book serves to represent not-for-profit law as a field of academic inquiry, and to point the way to future research in that field.
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Chapter 21: Reforming tax policy with respect to nonprofit organizations

Evelyn Brody


This chapter considers the tax treatment of not-for-profit organizations in the United States of Australia, which are a product of federalism, constitutional commitments, legislative complexity and political culture. The chapter considers the implications of the notorious decision of the United States Supreme Court in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, which has allowed tax exempt funds to be applied for political campaigning purposes via not-for-profit vehicles that are not subject to disclosure laws. It also addresses some of the ways in which the Inland Revenue Service functions as a de facto regulator of the not-for-profit sector in the US notwithstanding its mandate to collect and preserve the revenue. The chapter concludes by emphasizing that in the US the goals of not-for-profit law and regulation risk becoming ‘collateral damage’ in broader tax reforms.

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