Re: Scenario C prerequisites (Re: Upcoming: further thoughts on where from here)

Brian E Carpenter <brc@zurich.ibm.com> Thu, 23 September 2004 08:02 UTC

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Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 09:54:49 +0200
From: Brian E Carpenter <brc@zurich.ibm.com>
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Subject: Re: Scenario C prerequisites (Re: Upcoming: further thoughts on where from here)
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So, as I see it, we can choose scenario C which includes
this bureaucratic work, as well as many other pieces of
bureaucratic work, or we can choose scenario O in which all
this work was done ten years ago.

    Brian

Karl Auerbach wrote:
> 
> On Wed, 22 Sep 2004, Gene Gaines wrote:
> 
>> ISOC is non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, incorporated in the
>> District of Columbia.
>>
>> I suggest it would be a serious mistake for the IETF not to
>> obtain the same status.
> 
> 
> There are many kinds of 501(c) exemptions.  They all come with different 
> kinds of chains that impose limits on what the organization can do and 
> impose affirmative duties.  Simply jumping into one category without 
> understanding the nature and form of those chains could lead to a kind 
> of organizational buyer's remorse.
> 
> Whether one considers the application process easy (or hard), fast (or 
> slow), or the IRS to be capricious (or not), it isn't something to be 
> undertaken lightly or without understanding the ramifications.  The IRS 
> is one of the world's great bureaucracies; I know attorneys whose entire 
> practice is focused on just small parts of the US tax code and small 
> parts of that bureacracy.
> 
> The choice of Federal excemption also may have impact on the liability 
> (or rather on the limitation of liability) of unpaid Directors and 
> officers both on the basis of State laws that recognize certain 
> protections for certain 501 categories (and not for others) and also 
> under Federal laws that may provide some protection for volunteer 
> (unpaid) directors under some circumstances.
> 
> Many have, of course, navigated the maze and been happy with the 
> results. And some entities, after having experienced life as a 501(c)(3) 
> have discovered the limitations too binding and have changed their status.
> 
> The IETF ought to move forward with knowledge and understanding.  It 
> ought not go forward blindly and with say 501(c)(3) or bust without 
> knowing fully what that means and implies.
> 
> The same goes for chosing the state of incorporation and the form under 
> that state's laws.
> 
> (There is, of course, the option of creating several different legally 
> cognizable entities, each shrink-wrapped with its own choice of 
> jurisdiction and form.  But that could lead to a situation in which 
> there is not one IETF but several that drift in divergent directions.)
> 
> I'm not arguing against the 501(c)(3) status - I have neither an opinion 
> nor enough knowledge to make an informed choice.  I'm merely noting that 
> the issue is complex and involves hard choices that ought to be made 
> with knowledge of the tradeoffs.
> 
>         --karl--
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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