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NH Center for Nonprofits

Nonprofit Notes:
Advocacy Newsletter

Federal News

Government Shutdown
As the federal government shutdown heads into its 4th week, New Hampshire’s nonprofit sector is reporting concerns and impacts on services. According to the responses from a recent survey from the NH Center for Nonprofits, the strains on the sector caused by the shutdown range from access to resources to project delays.
 
The adversely affected departments and selected high-profile programs include USDA (food assistance and low-income rural housing), Commerce (census planning, weather service), Homeland Security (border protection, transportation security), Housing and Urban Development (rental assistance), Interior (national parks), Justice (youth supports and domestic violence programs), Transportation (safety inspections), and Treasury (IRS).
 
In a letter from the National Council of Nonprofits to President Trump and House and Senate leadership, President/CEO Tim Delaney noted, “The federal government shutdown is imposing growing burdens for which there is no reasonable justification… imposing unfunded costs on nonprofits, [and] resulting in direct harm and significant collateral damage to the work of charitable nonprofits across the country.”
Parking Tax
Last month, the IRS published preliminary guidance (Notice 2018-99) on the new unrelated business income tax (UBIT) on parking and transportation. The notice recommends that nonprofits use a four-step calculation to determine their taxes on parking spaces they own or lease. The notice also gives nonprofits the option of retroactively minimizing their UBIT liability by reducing the number of parking spaces they provide to employees by March 31, 2019. A separate notice provides for waiver of tax penalties for nonprofits that failed to submit quarterly estimated tax payments for the new tax on transportation benefits. The IRS guidance is open for public comments through February 22, 2019.
2020 Census
Preparations for the 2020 Census have been slowed by the government shutdown as well as a number of court cases challenging the Administration’s addition of a citizenship questions. In a recent ruling, a US District Court found the citizenship question unlawful. However, the issue is unlikely to be resolved until there is a US Supreme Court decision.
403(b) Plans
Last month, the IRS issued guidance (Notice 2018-95) clarifying that 501(c)(3) nonprofits that offer 403(b) retirement plans to their staff cannot exclude an employee from the plan if the employee is either expected to work 1,000 hours in any year or has actually worked at least 1,000 hours in any year. In addition, once an employee has been eligible to make pre-tax contributions to the 403(b) plan in any year, her or his employer cannot exclude the employee from participating in the plan in future years. The notice provides a "relief period" for nonprofits that did not follow these rules in the past, and some nonprofits may be able to use a "fresh-start" option (only available in 2019) to continue to exclude certain part-time employees who otherwise would have been eligible to participate in the 403(b) plan.

State News

Capitol Exchange
Nonprofit leaders gathered for a discussion with Senate President Donna Soucy and Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes on January 7 as part of the Nonprofit Capitol Exchange series. Key issues raised during the discussion included the mental health system, child services, and the reimbursement rate for providers.  The Senators encouraged the nonprofit sector to continue raising its voice. The February event will feature House Speaker Steve Shurtleff on February 5.
Legislative Session
The 2019 legislative session is now underway. Over 1100 bills have been filed with the Office of Legislative Services. The NH Center for Nonprofits will track bills related to its policy framework and other proposals that could have sector-wide impacts.

A discussion with new House Speaker Steve Shurtleff

We're pleased to welcome House Speaker Steve Shurtleff to the next Nonprofit Capitol Exchange. Start your day with this opportunity to connect with New Hampshire’s new House Speaker and fellow nonprofit leaders in a small group setting. Steve Shurtleff

Nonprofit Capitol Exchange with House Speaker Steve Shurtleff
February 5, 7:45 - 9:00 AM
Sulloway & Hollis in Concord
Learn More & Register
This event has been generously sponsored by Sulloway & Hollis.
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