CAPLAW eNews Bulletin - February 2016 No Images? Click here
  • ACA Filing Deadlines Approaching
  • AmeriCorps Members not Employees for ACA Purposes
  • Employers Cautioned Against Discipline over Social Media Use
  • Tax Law Updates
  • DAB Decisions

This five-part webinar series and a new resource developed by CAPLAW in collaboration with the national Community Action Partnership, The CAA Leader’s Legal Guide, aims to provide new and seasoned CAA leaders with an overview of the many legal requirements that they will work with on a regular basis. We will release the new resource with the first webinar in the series. Registration opens in March.

Mark your calendars for:

Tues, April 5: Uncle Sam’s Money: Fundamentals of Federal Grant Law

Thurs, April 7: The Nuts and Bolts of the Federal CSBG Act

Tues, April 12: Dollars & Sense: Federal Grant Financial Management Rules

Thurs, April 14: In a Nutshell: Tax-Exempt Law for Nonprofit CAAs

Tues, April 19: Public CAA Essentials

2016 National Training Conference

Serving Individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) FAQ

This FAQ series explains the legal requirements governing Title VI compliance, discusses how CAAs can determine the LEP needs of a particular population, offers suggestions for ways CAAs may meet the needs of LEP individuals, and links to additional information and tools regarding LEP and language assistance services.

Explore the FAQ Archive.


This e-News Bulletin is part of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Legal Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) Center. It was created by Community Action Program Legal Services, Inc. (CAPLAW) in the performance of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Community Services Cooperative Agreement – Grant Award Number 90ET0441-01. Any opinion, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.


ACA Filing Deadlines Approaching

The deadlines for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) information reporting with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are quickly approaching. This year’s deadlines come later than first expected due to the extensions offered by the IRS at the end of December. The deadline for furnishing the 2015 Forms 1095-C to employees, which was extended by two months, is March 31, 2016, and the deadline for electronically filing the Forms 1095-C and 1094-C, which was extended by three months, is June 30, 2016. For more information about ACA reporting requirements, see the IRS Q&A on information reporting by health care providers, and for information about the deadline extensions, see this Legal Alert from the law firm Trucker Huss. 


AmeriCorps Members not Employees for ACA Purposes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a notice in which Question 16 addresses whether AmeriCorps members providing services to a grantee receiving assistance under the national service laws are employees for purposes of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The answer is a straightforward “No,” with the IRS explaining that the National and Community Service Act provides that participants in AmeriCorps programs are not considered employees of the grantee, nor are AmeriCorps participants considered employees of the federal government. The implication for employers is that they are not mandated by the ACA to make an offer of affordable health coverage to AmeriCorps members, nor must employers count AmeriCorps participants as employees when determining an employer’s status as an Applicable Larger Employer (ALE).

*Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture


Employers Cautioned Against Discipline over Social Media Use

Many employers have personnel policies covering employee confidentiality and social media use. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has warned against such policies that, although well intentioned, could illegally restrict employees rights to unionize or discuss the terms and conditions of their employment. The tension between employees’ rights to discuss work conditions and employers’ interest in maintaining confidentiality and employee loyalty is on display in a recent federal Court of Appeals case. In that case, the court upheld an NLRB decision punishing an employer for disciplining employees for making disparaging comments about the company on Facebook. To read more about this case—which includes a discussion about Facebook “likes” as protected activity—see this legal alert from the law firm Venable. For a broader discussion about disciplining employees for social media posts, see this legal alert from the law firm Fisher and Phillips


Tax Law Updates

Tax Treatment of Payments by Controlled Subsidiaries to Parent Tax-Exempt Organizations

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act), which includes various provisions that affect tax-exempt organizations. Read the full Tax Law Update.

New Deadlines for Filing Form 5500 and Form 990

On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (the Surface Transportation Act) which, among other things, extended certain filing deadlines for IRS Forms 990 and 5500. Read the full Tax Law Update.

State Associations Take Note: New Mandatory 501(c)(4) Tax-Exempt Status Filings

The PATH Act added a new section 506 to the Internal Revenue Code that now requires 501(c)(4) organizations formed after December 18, 2015 to file a one-page notice of registration (the Section 506 Notification) with the IRS within 60 days of formation. Read the full Tax Law Update.


DAB Decisions

Ignorance is Not Bliss: DAB Decisions Affirm Board Fiduciary Duties

In a series of decisions the DAB underscored the nonprofit board of directors’ legal responsibilities to the organization through exercise of its “fiduciary duties.”  Read more.

DAB Decision Highlights Importance of Thorough Documentation and Careful Cost Allocation 

A recent DAB decision highlights how important it is for federal grant recipients to thoroughly and precisely document the basis for charging costs to federal awards. The decision also discusses the allowability of a number of selected items of costs. Read more.