Tovella Dowling provides important counsel to clients in achieving their international objectives, including those US-based clients operating in foreign markets, as well as international clients seeking to do business here.
Our attorneys understand the global concerns associated with cross-border programmatic activities and appreciate the nuances of compliance and the risks and consequences of regulatory violations facing nonprofit organizations.
Tovella Dowling’s counsel and advice to its client engaging in international operations are intentional and strategic in furtherance of their intentions abroad, with the overarching goal of maximizing compliance while minimizing the risk of regulatory violations.
Nonprofit International Regulatory Compliance
The United States Treasury maintains a program referred to as the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) that is tasked with the imposition and enforcement of controls on transactions with foreign jurisdictions.
OFAC administers several different sanctions programs. The sanctions can be either comprehensive or selective, using the blocking of assets and/or trade restrictions to accomplish foreign policy and national security goals. The names of these specific individuals and entities are included in the OFAC’s list of Specifically Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons.
Our attorneys draft and assist in the implementation of International Grantmaking Policies to ensure compliance with OFAC and related controls over the client’s charitable assets when contemplating the granting of funds in foreign jurisdictions.
Further, Tovella Dowling assists in the application process for required licenses, permits, and other consents required before international operations.
Nonprofit Foreign Operations and Grantmaking
Programmatic expansion to countries outside of the United States may be desired to address needs existing abroad in furtherance of a charity’s mission or to create a fundraising vehicle for the acceptance of donations and contributions from donors that are deductible under the tax code of the donor’s resident jurisdiction.
Whatever the rationale for international expansion, undertaking international operations can result in registrations, qualifications, and other filing obligations within the target jurisdiction. Nonprofits should consider the feasibility of complying with such obligations and exhaust all pathways to international impact.
Often, the qualification of an existing charity in a foreign jurisdiction is not a feasible solution either because of inherent differences in law rendering the current nonprofit’s entity structure inappropriate, risks of liability exposure, or complex and costly processes.
For this reason, Tovella Dowling has assisted clients in the evaluation of alternative structures such as the establishment of “Friends Of” organizations, that is, the creation of a separate charitable vehicle that exists to provide federal tax deductibility for charitable contributions in support of a foreign charity.
Additionally, our attorneys have assisted in crafting contractual charitable grant agreements which address the scope and legalities of international grantmaking efforts and strategic alliances taking into consideration the expenditure responsibility of the grantmaking party and the provision of Equivalency Determinations to lend safe harbors to foreign charitable giving efforts.
Nonprofit International Labor Considerations
With remote workforces becoming more prevalent, nonprofit employers have increasingly sought to outsource aspects of their operations abroad or permit the relocation of their current employees to countries outside of the United States.
In doing so, however, there comes a myriad of legal and regulatory considerations associated with maintaining an international workforce.
Tovella Dowling works with clients to issue spot potential blind spots that could arise with maintaining an international workforce and counsels on various structures to accomplish the client’s international objectives, such as the utilization of Professional Employer Organizations (PEO), qualification to transact business in the target jurisdiction or creation of a “friends of” organization.
Further, our attorneys opine on employer obligations to international employers and contractors from both a tax, labor, and organizational management perspective.
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