Individuals who wish to make contributions to foreign charities should be
aware of the increasingly regulated landscape surrounding international
charitable giving and estate planning.
The globalization of the world’s marketplace and generational transfer of
wealth have made international charitable giving a popular tool for individuals
and tax-exempt organizations alike. In fact, a report by Giving USA shows that
while private donations dropped by 3.2% in 2009, giving for international
affairs increased by 6.6%.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project
is the most recent example of the changing regulatory scheme. In Holder, the
Supreme Court ruled that any material support, including money, material,
training, expert advice or assistance to a foreign terrorist or terrorist
organization is prohibited – even if the support is for an entirely legal
purpose. The Supreme Court did not rule whether this includes all charitable
humanitarian aid, but future cases will likely shed light on that issue.
McGuireWoods’ white paper
International Charitable Giving and Estate Planning is a useful guide
that summarizes the major issues that U.S. and foreign individuals and
tax-exempt organizations should consider when engaging in cross-border
charitable activities and estate planning. The following topics are discussed:
- U.S. Tax Law: Lifetime & Testamentary International Giving
- Tax Planning Opportunities for Public Charities, Foundations &
- Withholding & Reporting Issues
- Foreign Investments & Taxation
McGuireWoods Nonprofit &
Nonprofit and Tax-Exempt Organizations
provides advice and guidance that enables
charities and other nonprofits to operate
successfully in the increasingly
complicated, regulated, and competitive
environment facing nonprofits today.
McGuireWoods International Transactions
International Transactions practice provides a full range of legal
services to U.S. and foreign clients doing international business – whether
for U.S. clients doing business overseas, or foreign clients doing business
in the United States. Services include advice on legal issues, tax analysis,
drafting and negotiating principal agreements, implementing technology
exchanges, protecting intellectual property, complying with corporate law
and merger requirements, and coordinating with and directing local counsel.
Private Wealth Services is ranked by
Chambers and Partners, the international
rating service for attorneys, as one of two
top-band private wealth services practice
groups in the country, with professionals in
several U.S. cities and in London, dedicated
to estate planning and the analysis of
related tax and fiduciary issues.