Bob Saunders is a tax and business lawyer with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. He counsels primarily tax-exempt organizations, both charitable and non-charitable, on a wide range of federal and state tax controversy matters, estate planning, and tax-exempt financing.
Bob helps all types of exempt organizations, including charities, trade associations, social welfare organizations and social clubs, in matters ranging from formation and operation to merger and dissolution. He serves as general counsel for exempt organizations and advises on tax and governance issues including intermediate sanctions, unrelated business income, and the use of for-profit subsidiaries and single member limited liability companies.
Bob also represents exempt organizations in federal and state tax audits, and has significant experience as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, company counsel and authority counsel in tax-exempt financings. Recently he was certified as a nonprofit board governance consultant by Board Source.
Recent representative clients include:
- North Carolina Rural Center
- Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight
Bob counsels trade associations in a wide range of industries on tax matters related to formation, mergers and dissolution. He has served as general counsel to various chambers of commerce and industry trade groups.
Representative clients include:
- Chapel Hill Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
- The International Lead Zinc Research Organization
Bob has an active estate planning practice with an emphasis on charitable giving with private foundations and donor advised funds. He has experience with the formation, merger, and dissolution of private foundations, and is experienced in the reclassification of private foundations as public charities. He has also advised and participated in seminars sponsored by various community foundations.
Bob advises companies that are seeking to operate as social enterprises in the Fourth Sector on a variety of governance and tax-related issues. He has participated in activities involving such organizations as the North Carolina Fourth Sector Cluster Initiative and has attended the national conferences for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (“BALLE”). Bob has advised farmers markets on entity formation and tax-exempt status issues.
Recent representative Fourth Sector clients include:
- PTA Thrift Shop, Inc.
- Partnership for a Sustainable Community
- The North Carolina Business Law Council
- Greensboro Farmers Market
Bob represents his clients on national, state and local tax controversy issues. Having previously worked at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Bob has an in-depth understanding of tax disputes and how to best serve clients’ needs throughout the complex legal process. He is the co-author for the North Carolina Chapter of the ABA Property Tax Handbook and the ABA Sales and Use Tax Handbook.
Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in Litigation and Controversy-Tax, Non-Profit/Charities Law and Tax Law (2007-2021); Recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” in Greensboro for Non-Profit/Charities Law (2014, 2020) and Litigation and Controversy-Tax (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019)
Recognized by North Carolina Super Lawyers in Business/Corporate Law (2019-2020)
Member, Board of Visitors, University of North Carolina (2019-present)
Chair, Partnership for a Sustainable Community, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
Vice-Chair, Board of Directors, Carol Woods Retirement Community
Adjunct Lecturer of Nonprofit Law, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2006-present)
Chair, Nonprofit Organizations Committee of the North Carolina Business Law Council, North Carolina Bar Association (2011-present)
Member, Carrboro Economic Sustainability Commission (2010-2019)
Member, Carrboro Arts Commission (2009-2010)
Leadership North Carolina Class XVI (2008-2009)
United Arts Council Representative - The Sternberger Commission (2003-present)
Board Secretary, Greensboro Public Library Foundation (2002-present)
Member, North Carolina Rules Review Commission (2001-2007)
Frequent lecturer on nonprofit matters at the N.C. Festival of Legal Learning
Panelist, "Associated Entities: Risk Management and the Role of Legal Counsel," 2019 Fall University of North Carolina System Attorneys Meeting, Charlotte, NC, November 5, 2019
Presenter, "The ABCs of Social Enterprises and Impact Investing," NCACPA Not-for-Profit Accounting Conference, Greensboro, NC, May 22, 2018
Moderator, "What's New in the World of Charitable Giving," Wake County and Durham/Chapel Hill Estate Planning Councils meeting, Raleigh, NC, May 15, 2018
Presenter, "The ABC's of Social Enterprises & Impact Investing," UNC School of Law Festival of Legal Learning, February 2018
Co-author of Business Law Section Newsletter Article, North Carolina Benefit Corporation Act: A Summary of Senate Bill 99, April 23, 2013
"What is the Fourth Sector?" Presentation to Business Law Institute, North Carolina Bar Association, February 2012
"Legal Issues Facing Fourth Sector Entities," Presentation to North Carolina Fourth Sector Cluster Initiative, March 2011
Co-author of the North Carolina Chapter, ABA Property Tax Handbook, 2003-2015
Co-author of the North Carolina Chapter, ABA Sales and Use Tax Handbook, 2003-2015