The Relentless Pursuit of Major Gifts

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 from 7:30 a.m. to noon at KWMU Public Radio in Grand Center, 3651 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63108.
(For directions, click

Successful nonprofit organizations have the capacity and ability to find and cultivate major gifts as part of their fundraising and development plan. Come to this class to learn successful strategies and tactics for bringing in major gifts. Instructor Martin Leifeld, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement at the University of Missouri St. Louis, will share how he approaches his work and how he’s achieved the successes he’s had in securing major gifts. Class topics will include: attitudes and traits of successful major gift fundraisers, concepts to increase your effectiveness and confidence, and facets of leadership in major gift fundraising.

Instructor MARTIN LEIFELD has served as vice chancellor for university advancement at the University of Missouri–St. Louis since August 2008. Since his arrival he has led a dramatic increase in fundraising. University Advancement at UMSL has more than 140 employees and an operating budget in excess of $12 million. Its primary units include alumni and community relations, fundraising, marketing and communication, university events and St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 KWMU.

Prior to joining UMSL, Leifeld was associate vice president for university development at Saint Louis University. He also has served as director of development for the Diocese of Belleville in Belleville, Ill., as well as a consultant and outreach executive in Ohio and Wisconsin.

Tuition: $40

To register, click here.

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IRS Exempt Organization Newsletter 2014-20

On December 11, the IRS released its Exempt Organization Newsletter, Issue Number 2014-20.

  1. Register for IRS webinar: Help for      charities
  2. ACA Information Center for Tax      Professionals
  3. IRS Updates Health Insurance      Marketplace on
  4. IRS tips for year-end gifts to      charity
  5. Deadline nears for Return Preparers to      qualify for new IRS program
  6. Register for EO workshops


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IRS Exempt Organization Newsletter 2014-19

On December 5, the IRS released its Exempt Organization Newsletter, Issue Number 2014-19.

  1. Register for IRS webinar: Help for charities
  2. Announcement addresses realignment of technical work between TE/GE and Office of Associate Chief Counsel
  3. Register for EO workshops
  4. Modified 403(b) plan Listing of Required Modifications coming soon (more…)
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Reimbursing Employees for Individual Health Insurance Policies Subjects Employers to Hefty Excise Taxes

What, you may ask? That’s right. It no longer works to reimburse employees for the purchase of an individual health insurance policy. I know, many of you have always done this. Well, not any longer under guidance issued under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Beginning with an IRS Notice issued in September 2013 and most recently in November 2014 DOL FAQs, the federal government has made it clear that this practice does not work under the ACA. While it flew under the radar for some, this rule became effective in 2014.


Why, you may ask? When an employer reimburses an employee for an individual health insurance premium, or pays the premium directly to the insurer, it has (perhaps inadvertently) established a “group health plan” which is subject to the so-called Public Health Service Act mandates of ACA. One of these mandates is the requirement that group health plans cannot impose annual dollar limitations on essential benefits, and such a reimbursement arrangement by its very nature imposes an annual dollar limit (the cost of the premiums); guidance provides that this arrangement cannot be “integrated” with an individual policy to satisfy the Public Health Service Act mandates. Another mandate is the requirement to provide preventive care at no cost to participants. A reimbursement arrangement such as that described here does not and cannot provide preventive care.

So, what’s the harm? The consequences for violation of the Public Health Service Act mandates (for self-funded plans such as a typical reimbursement arrangement) are nondeductible excise taxes of $100 per day for each affected individual (that’s $36,500 per year per impacted employee) which are supposed to be self-reported to the government, as well as potential enforcement action by the Department of Labor or participant lawsuits.

But this shouldn’t apply to me since I tax my employees on the amount of the premium I reimburse/send to the insurer, right? Actually, this rule still applies. The November FAQ makes it abundantly clear that characterizing the payment or reimbursement as taxable wages does not “undo” its group health plan status, and thus, the arrangement can still not satisfy the Public Health Service Act mandates.

What am I supposed to do? I don’t want to buy a group health plan for my employees but I don’t want them to go without health insurance/need to offer this benefit to attract employees. The answer is simple, although not as advantageous from a tax perspective. Employers can simply increase an employee’s wages so that the employee can purchase an individual insurance policy. An employer cannot condition the receipt of those additional wages on the employee’s purchase or maintenance of such a policy, as that then becomes an after-tax impermissible reimbursement arrangement.

There has to be an exception, right? Not really. Any employer-sponsored plan subject to the ACA market reforms – generally any plan with more than one current employee participating – is subject to this prohibition. This applies regardless of whether the employer is an “applicable large employer” subject to the employer mandate (i.e., the “pay or play rules”).


Bryan Cave Trusts and Estates Practice Receives National and Metropolitan First Tier Rankings by U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News and Best Lawyers have joined to rank more than 12,000 firms in the U.S. in 120 practice areas in 174 metropolitan areas and 8 states.

Bryan Cave’s Trust and Estates Practice Group (“Private Client CSG”) received National First Tier Ranking and the Atlanta, Kansas City, Orange County, and St. Louis offices all received First Tier Rankings in metropolitan cities.

Congratulations to the Private Client Group!

The 2015 report of more than 12,000 firms by practice area is based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. Results were combined into an overall “Best Law Firms” score for each firm.

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IRS Exempt Organization Newsletter Special Edition

Register for IRS webinar: Introduction to tax-exempt status

Thursday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. ET

You will learn how to:

  • • Differentiate between the terms “nonprofit” and “tax exempt”
  • • List some of the common types of exempt organizations
  • • Understand the requirements for exemption under 501(c)(3)
  • • Apply for recognition of exemption
  • • Identify some of the ongoing  compliance issues for exempt organizations

Register for this event.

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IRS Exempt Organization Newsletter 2014-18

On October 2, the IRS released its Exempt Organization Newsletter, Issue Number 2014-18.

  1. Register for IRS webinar: Introduction to tax-exempt status
  2. Register for EO workshops
  3. PTIN renewal season underway
  4. In 2015, various tax benefits increase due to inflation adjustments
  5. IRS announces tax guidance related to Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
  6. Notice 2014-67 issued (more…)
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2015 Qualified Plan Limits!

They’re here!  The 2015 IRS plan limitations arrived a full week earlier than last year.  Most of the limitations have been adjusted upwards.  See the chart below (after the jump) to see the new limits as well as a summary of the limits over the preceding three years.

Type of Limitation 2015 2014 2013 2012
Elective Deferrals (401(k), 403(b), 457(b)(2) and 457(c)(1)) $18,000 $17,500 $17,500 $17,000
Section 414(v) Catch-Up Deferrals to 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), or SARSEP Plans (457(b)(3) and 402(g) provide separate catch-up rules to be considered as appropriate) $6,000 $5,500 $5,500 $5,500
SIMPLE 401(k) or regular SIMPLE plans, Catch-Up Deferrals $3,000 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500
415 limit for Defined Benefit Plans $210,000 $210,000 $205,000 $200,000
415 limit for Defined Contribution Plans $53,000 $52,000 $51,000 $50,000
Annual Compensation Limit $265,000 $260,000 $255,000 $250,000
Annual Compensation Limit for Grandfathered Participants in Governmental Plans Which Followed 401(a)(17) Limits (With Indexing) on July 1, 1993 $395,000 $385,000 $380,000 $375,000
Highly Compensated Employee 414(q)(1)(B) $120,000 $115,000 $115,000 $115,000
Key employee in top heavy plan (officer) $170,000 $170,000 $165,000 $165,000
SIMPLE Salary Deferral $12,500 $12,000 $12,000 $11,500
Tax Credit ESOP Maximum balance $1,070,000 $1,050,000 $1,035,000 $1,015,000
Amount for Lengthening of 5-Year ESOP Period $210,000 $210,000 $205,000 $200,000
Taxable Wage Base $118,500 $117,000 $113,700 $110,100
FICA Tax for employees and employers 7.65% 7.65% 7.65% 7.65%
Social Security Tax for employees 6.2% 6.2% 6.2% 4.2%*
Social Security Tax for employers 6.2% 6.2% 6.2% 6.2%
Medicare Tax for employers and employees 1.45% 1.45% 1.45% 1.45%
Additional Medicare Tax** .9% of comp > $200,000 .9% of comp > $200,000 0.9% of comp > $200,000 -

*This figure reflects a 2% reduction in the rate of tax for employees pursuant to the Tax Relief Act of 2010

**For taxable years beginning after 12/31/12, an employer must withhold Additional Medicare Tax on wages or compensation paid to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year.

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Foundations & Endowments: New Challenges, New Opportunities

What’s the best way to offset potential equity volatility in period of meager bond returns?

Given your need for liquidity, are alternative investments too risky?

Does socially responsible investing make sense for your organization?

How can you best meet the new legislative requirements for transparency and accountability?

Please join us on November 12 to hear a panel of experts (including our very own Tara Newell) answer these and other questions.

Click here for more info

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Case Study of How to Win an Online Funding Competition

Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in 202 J.C. Penney Conference Center

Online funding competitions are becoming more and more common. Locally, Mission: St. Louis has entered three online contests and won all three in recent history. Come to this class to learn how they built and maintain their social media presence, and how they mobilized their followers on Give STL Day 2014. Walk away with new social media resources and strategies, and learn how to make a plan for an online campaign or contest. Specific thoughts and plans will be provided to help organizations plan for Give STL Day 2015.

Instructor JOY CLARKE is the Vice President of Development for Mission: St. Louis, where she leads a team that manages the organization’s communications and development. She’s grown the organization’s social media platform to reach followers of more than 5,000 people, and helped them win three online contests, with prizes totaling $25,000, plus a new Toyota truck.

Tuition: $25

To register, click here.

Written by in: Events

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