Marcus Owens represents a broad range of nonprofit organizations, including private foundations, charities, lobbying/political organizations and trade associations. The context has ranged from tax planning, the process of formation and application for exemption, through IRS and state attorney general investigations, including complex audits by IRS Exempt Organizations Financial Investigative Units. Mr. Owens’ focus includes executive compensation, excess benefit and self-dealing excise taxes, as well as the impact of digital and social media on tax exempt organizations. His experience also extends to social impact investing and program-related investments. Particular projects have involved the emerging rules for foreign grant making and organizations interested in public policy but concerned with legislative and political activities. Mr. Owens is also a frequent lecturer, writer and commenter on the complex laws affecting exempt organizations.
Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Owens was employed by the Exempt Organizations Division of the Internal Revenue Service and served as the division's director for ten years. In that capacity, he was the chief decision maker regarding design and implementation of federal tax rulings and enforcement programs for exempt organizations, political organizations and tax-exempt bonds. He also served as the IRS's primary liaison with other federal agencies, Congress, and state regulators on exempt organizations issues.