May 27, 2020 •

New IRS Rules: Some Tax-Exempt Groups Don’t Have to Report Contributors

IRS Building, Washington DC

Home of the Internal Revenue Service - by Joshua Doubek

On May 28, new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations allowing certain tax-exempt organizations to refrain from reporting the names and addresses of contributors on their annual reports to the IRS will take effect and be published in the U.S. Federal […]

On May 28, new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations allowing certain tax-exempt organizations to refrain from reporting the names and addresses of contributors on their annual reports to the IRS will take effect and be published in the U.S. Federal Register.

 

This exemption from reporting applies to tax-exempt organizations generally not receiving tax-deductible contributions, such as labor unions, volunteer fire departments, issue-advocacy groups, local chambers of commerce, veterans’ groups, and community service clubs. These organizations are still required to continue to collect and keep the donor information and to make it available to the IRS upon its request. This change does not affect the information required to be reported by charities primarily receiving tax-deductible contributions, such as 501(c)(3) organizations, certain nonexempt private foundations, or 527 political organizations.

 

The Treasury Department and IRS had given three primary reasons for the change: the IRS makes no systematic use of this information collected by these organizations; the policy reduces the risk of inadvertent disclosure or misuse of confidential information; and the policy saves both private and government resources.

 

Previously, the IRS had issued a guidance to this effect, but on July 30, 2019, the IRS guidance limiting these disclosure requirements was set aside by a federal judge. In Bullock v. IRS, the U.S. District Court District of Montana (Great Falls) found the IRS violated the Administrative Procedure Act by not providing notice and allowing a public comment period before the guidance was issued. It predicated this decision by finding the guidance was a legislative rule. Subsequently, on September 6, the IRS issued a notice of a proposed rulemaking and accepted public comment.

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May 20, 2020 •

Senate Confirms Commissioner to FEC, Restoring Quorum

U.S. Capitol Building

U.S. Capitol - by Martin Falbisoner

On May 19, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Trump’s nominee to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), restoring a quorum for the agency.   With the confirmation of James “Trey” Trainor, the FEC now has four commissioners, which meets the minimum […]

On May 19, the U.S. Senate confirmed President Trump’s nominee to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), restoring a quorum for the agency.

 

With the confirmation of James “Trey” Trainor, the FEC now has four commissioners, which meets the minimum threshold of commissioners required for any official action.

The Commission has two registered members of the Republican Party, one registered member of the Democratic Party, and one Independent.

 

Trainor is a lawyer licensed in Texas who specializes in election law, campaign finance, and ethics.

Trainor previously served in the president’s administration as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, in the Department of Defense, Office of General Counsel.

Trump had originally nominated Trainor to serve as a commissioner in 2017, but a hearing in the Senate was never held.

 

Two seats on the FEC still remains vacant.

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April 20, 2020 •

Quebec National Assembly Extends Adjournment

National Assembly of Quebec by Avramescu Marius

On April 17, the Quebec National Assembly extended its adjournment until May 5 because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The Assembly had agreed on March 17 to adjourn parliamentary business until April 21. At the time, the leaders of the […]

On April 17, the Quebec National Assembly extended its adjournment until May 5 because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Assembly had agreed on March 17 to adjourn parliamentary business until April 21.

At the time, the leaders of the four parliamentary groups left open the option to recommend to the President of the National Assembly to extend the adjournment beyond April 21.

Lawmakers plan to hold four virtual committee sessions.

These will allow MPs and members of the opposition groups to exchange views with members of the executive.

These committee sessions will be held between April 24 and May 1.

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April 1, 2020 •

FEC Adjusts Some Reporting Dates for Postponed Elections

In response to several states postponing congressional and presidential primary elections to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has been updating some of the campaign finance report due dates related to those elections. The law […]

In response to several states postponing congressional and presidential primary elections to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has been updating some of the campaign finance report due dates related to those elections.

The law requires many reports, such as pre-election reports, electioneering communications reports, and reports accounting for independent expenditures, base their due date and their covered periods upon the actual date of the election.

The FEC will adjust the deadlines for the relevant reports related to postponed elections.

Specifically, the FEC has directed that if a state postpones its election after the deadline for the applicable pre-election report, participating committees must file an additional pre-election report due 12 days before the new election date.

Otherwise, committees need only file the pre-election report for the new election date.

A political campaign affected by a postponement may continue to accept contributions until the date of the rescheduled election.

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March 31, 2020 •

Lawmakers in Newfoundland and Labrador Adjourn

Confederation Building, Newfoundland, CA - by shhewitt

On March 26, the General Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador agreed to adjourn parliamentary business until an unspecified future date. The adjournment is in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The legislature will remain adjourned until the call of the Chair, […]

On March 26, the General Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador agreed to adjourn parliamentary business until an unspecified future date.

The adjournment is in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The legislature will remain adjourned until the call of the Chair, the procedure for recalling lawmakers into session. 

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March 31, 2020 •

April Sitting of Prince Edward Island Legislature Postponed Due to Coronavirus

Prince Edward Island Legislative Assembly Chamber - Joseph Thornley

The anticipated start date of April 7, 2020, for the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island has been postponed until a date to be determined due to the coronavirus pandemic. Speaker Colin LaVie suspended the Spring Sitting of the Legislature […]

The anticipated start date of April 7, 2020, for the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island has been postponed until a date to be determined due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaker Colin LaVie suspended the Spring Sitting of the Legislature based on recommendations of the province’s chief public health officer.

LaVie intends to call the legislature into session after consultation with the other parliamentary leaders as the situation evolves.

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March 31, 2020 •

British Columbia Legislative Committees Videoconferencing

British Columbia Legislature

As of March 30, committees of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, such as the Public Account Committee, continue to meet using videoconferencing. Some of the committee videoconferencing is available for the public to view live on the Assembly’s website. […]

As of March 30, committees of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, such as the Public Account Committee, continue to meet using videoconferencing.

Some of the committee videoconferencing is available for the public to view live on the Assembly’s website.

On March 23, lawmakers had adjourned their Spring Session to a date they have not yet determined.

Legislators will reconvene at their physical legislative building when the Speaker of the House, after consultation with the government, determines the public interest requires it or when advised by the government.

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March 31, 2020 •

Yukon Legislature to Convene October 1

Yukon Legislature

On October 1, the Yukon Legislative Assembly is scheduled to convene, having recessed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. On March 19, the legislature adjourned its Spring Session earlier than the scheduled April 16 end-of-session date, while still staying late […]

On October 1, the Yukon Legislative Assembly is scheduled to convene, having recessed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

On March 19, the legislature adjourned its Spring Session earlier than the scheduled April 16 end-of-session date, while still staying late on its last day to complete consideration of Bill No. 203, a fiscal appropriation act for the territory.

“These are unusual times that call for unusual measures,” said Speaker Hon. Nils Clarke said in his press release.

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March 24, 2020 •

No Late Fees for DC Lobbyist Reports due April 15

Washington D.C. City Hall

On March 23, the District of Columbia Board of Ethics and Government Accountability issued a notice to lobbyists informing them penalties will not be issued for late filings due in April because of the coronavirus pandemic. On April 15, lobbyists […]

On March 23, the District of Columbia Board of Ethics and Government Accountability issued a notice to lobbyists informing them penalties will not be issued for late filings due in April because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On April 15, lobbyists are required to file activity reports for the first three months of calendar year 2020.

That deadline has not been changed.

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) is open and operating on full telework status through April 27.

Filing electronically online is working normally and payments can still be accepted by mail.

However, the OGE will be unable to provide walk-in assistance or to accept deliveries.

In addition to the OGE not assessing late fees on filings that are delayed due to the public health crisis, the agency will also consider other measures to assist registrants during this time, according to the notice.

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March 23, 2020 •

Canadian Parliament to Reconvene to Address Coronavirus

Temporary Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

On March 24, the Canadian House of Commons will reconvene for a one-day session to vote on legislation to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers are expected to allocate more than $80 billion in emergency aid for the nation. The Canadian […]

On March 24, the Canadian House of Commons will reconvene for a one-day session to vote on legislation to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawmakers are expected to allocate more than $80 billion in emergency aid for the nation.

The Canadian Senate is then expected to meet for a one-day session on March 25 to vote on that legislation.

On March 13, the Parliament had adjourned until at least April 20 because of the emerging health crisis.

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March 19, 2020 •

Saskatchewan Lawmakers Recess Because of Coronavirus Pandemic

The Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan was adjourned at the end of its sitting on March 18 because of the coronavirus pandemic. A motion by Government House Leader Jeremy Harrison to recess the session, which was agreed to by all the […]

The Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan was adjourned at the end of its sitting on March 18 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A motion by Government House Leader Jeremy Harrison to recess the session, which was agreed to by all the lawmakers, leaves open the return date.

Specifically, the legislature will be recalled by the speaker upon the request of the government, which will determine the appropriate date for members to resume their session.

When the Assembly reconvenes, the rules of the parliamentary calendar will still apply and the completion day for the Fourth Session of the Twenty-Eighth Legislature will be set.

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March 19, 2020 •

Ontario Lawmakers Call Emergency Sitting With Planned Social Distancing

Legislative Assembly of Ontario building - Saforrest (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

At 1:00 p.m. on March 19, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario will meet in an emergency sitting to address the coronavirus pandemic. The parliament is on a scheduled recess but is meeting to try and pass legislation related to dealing […]

At 1:00 p.m. on March 19, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario will meet in an emergency sitting to address the coronavirus pandemic.

The parliament is on a scheduled recess but is meeting to try and pass legislation related to dealing with the COVID-19 virus.

Following Ontario health officials’ recommendations of social distancing, lawmakers are planning on only 24 of the 124 members to actually be present in the legislative building, according to iPolitics.

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March 17, 2020 •

The Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories Adjourns Until May

Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories

The Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories have recessed the winter legislative session. The Assembly will be on recess until May 26 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The legislature was recalled early from a one-week recess, met on March […]

The Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories have recessed the winter legislative session.

The Assembly will be on recess until May 26 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The legislature was recalled early from a one-week recess, met on March 16, and decided to adjourn until May.

This will allow the cabinet and lawmakers to focus efforts on addressing the spread of the virus.

While the cabinet will continue to meet during the recess, members of the Legislative Assembly will return to their respective constituencies.

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March 17, 2020 •

National Assembly of Quebec Announces Adjournment of Legislative Session

National Assembly of Quebec by Avramescu Marius

On March 17, the National Assembly of Quebec agreed to adjourn parliamentary business until Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at 1:40 p.m. The adjournment is in response to the coronavirus pandemic. If required, the leaders of the four parliamentary groups will […]

On March 17, the National Assembly of Quebec agreed to adjourn parliamentary business until Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at 1:40 p.m.

The adjournment is in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

If required, the leaders of the four parliamentary groups will recommend to the President of the National Assembly to extend the adjournment beyond April 21.

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