Marcus S. Owens is a member in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C. office. He joined the firm in February 2000.
ServicesMr. Owens has represented a broad range of nonprofit organizations including private foundations, charities, U.S. affiliates of foreign charities, churches and trade associations. The context has ranged from tax planning, the process of formation and application for exemption, through IRS audits including large case or team audits and audits by the IRS Exempt Organizations Financial Investigative Units. Particular projects have involved the emerging rules for foreign grant making and organizations interested in public policy but concerned with legislative and political activities. He also is a frequent lecturer on the complex laws affecting exempt organizations.
HighlightsPrior to joining Caplin & Drysdale, Mr. Owens was employed by the Exempt Organizations Division of the Internal Revenue Service for his entire professional career and served as the division's director for the last 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, unrelated business income tax, private foundation excise taxes, hospital reorganizations, college and university guidelines, 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.
Awards & Honors
- Ranked as a Top Lawyer in the 2009 -2012 editions of Chambers USA: 2011 –Band 3 in Tax - District of Columbia, 2012 –Band 4 in Tax - District of Columbia
- Recognized as a leading lawyer in Domestic Tax: East Coast in the 2011 edition of The Legal 500
- Listed in The Best Lawyers of America in the categories of Nonprofit/Charities Law and Tax Law in 2008-2013
- Listed in Super Lawyers in 2012-2013
- Recipient of the IRS Commissioner's Award for exemplary service
- Selected by the NonProfit Times as one of the top 50 most influential people in the nonprofit sector in 1998, 1999, and 2001
- AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Nonprofit Spends Big on Politics Despite IRS Limitation, NBCNews (January 28, 2013)
- Marcus Owens Files Complaint Against ALEC, Roll Call (October 25, 2012)
- Interview with Diara Holmes & Marcus Owens, EO Tax Journal (October 12, 2012)
- James Bopp Jr. Gets Creative, Slate (October 5, 2012)
- Anonymous Donations Can Remain Secret Despite IRS Requirements to Disclose, Bloomberg (July 26, 2012)
- Partisanship Disguised as Charity, The New York Times (July 11, 2012)
- ALEC Faces New Challenge to Tax-Exempt Status, iWatch News by The Center for Public Integrity (July 2, 2012)
- Former IRS Official Demands Investigation of ALEC, Roll Call (July 1, 2012)
- Bully Pulpit, The New Yorker (June 18, 2012)
- IRS Denial of Tax Exemption to U.S. Political Group Spurs Alarms, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (June 8, 2012)
To view a list of Mr. Owens's media mentions, please click here.
Mr. Owens is a frequent writer and commentator on exempt organizations issues. Recent articles include: