The tradition of tax-exempt status for nonprofit "charitable" organizations is well established, and few would argue with the principle. But the tax-exempt sector of the economy is vast and rapidly growing, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars of tax revenue. At the same time, we have no consensus on what purpose the charitable tax exemption serves, let alone agreement on what constitutes a charity. In this important addition to the theory of tax law, Colombo and Hall develop an original "donative" theory that links the charitable tax exemption to the ability of an organization to derive donative support from the community. Their theory not only makes intuitive sense but also receives support from economic, political, and moral theory. Its implications would rationalize the charitable tax exemption, comport with legal precedent, and simplify the administration of the law. The Charitable Tax Exemption is a major contribution to the theory of tax law and should be essential reading for a wide range of lawyers dealing with taxes. It will also be enlightening for anyone involved in the operation of a nonprofit organization
Table of Contents
Preface -- Conventional Theories of Exemption -- The Charitable Tax Exemption: An Introduction -- The Legal and Theoretical Foundations of Charitable Tax Exemption -- Charitable Trust Law -- Relief of Government Burden -- Community Benefit and the Nonprofit Ethic -- Academic Theories -- The Donative Theory -- Theoretical Foundations of the Donative Theory -- What Counts as a Donation -- Moral Theory -- Evaluating the Donative Theory -- Implementing the Donative Theory -- Effect on Traditional Charities
"John D. Colombo is professor of law at the University of Illinois at Champaign. He specializes in tax law and has written widely on tax exemption. Mark A. Hall is professor of law and public health at Wake Forest University. He has published many books and articles on the law and public policy of health care organizations."