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Legal Update: Tax Status Risks

June 1, 2007: 

By Nan Roytberg
Association executives are always looking for new services to offer their members. But what if that next great idea turns into your worst nightmare . . . the loss of your association’s tax-exempt status?

This can happen if you run afoul of the “no inurement” provisions of section 501(c)(6) of the IRS code. This article will give you an overview of some complex laws as well as the tools to help you recognize when that great new program idea needs to be cleared by your association attorney or tax advisor.

Overloading Members with Too Much E-Mail?

March 1, 2007: 

By Carolyn Schwaar

Do you overburden your members with e-mail? This convenient and cost-effective way to communicate with members is often overused, associations report, to the extent that members block association e-mail and plead to be opted-out. So what’s the critical balance between keeping members informed and overloading their inboxes?

Bundle Your Message

Dual Roles of the MLS: MLS Expectations

March 1, 2007: 

By David Staebler

Once a factual tool shared by brokers, MLSs recently have been called upon to reach a new audience—consumers. Can MLSs maintain the integrity of their traditional role while simultaneously evolving as a marketing tool?

Document Retention: What Not to Trash

March 1, 2007: 

By F.P. Maxson

Have a document retention policy at your association? Never thought about it? Well, there are now new reasons you should. First, the recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) increase the need for an association to adopt a policy. Second, a good document retention system is an effective risk management tool.

Know Your Issues: 10 issues every association and member should understand.

January 1, 2007: 

Across the country, Realtor® organizations are shaping the outcomes of legislation and regulation on a wide variety of issues.

So what hot topics should set off your e-mail campaigns to legislators and get you to mobilize members? Here are 10 important issues you should know and what some associations are doing about them.

Taxes on Real Estate Commissions
Dozens of state associations continue to fight off lawmakers’ efforts to tax real estate commissions.

Legal: Alcohol Liabilities

January 1, 2007: 

By Isham Jones, NAR Legal Dept.

Festive to


Picture this: Your association hosts its annual holiday party for members and affiliates. An attendee drinks too much alcohol, gets behind the wheel of her car, and causes a fatal accident. The association faces legal action.

It’s a dreadful scenario to imagine, but for one Realtor® association, this was reality.