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Jonathan T. McCants

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  • Harvard Law School (J.D. 1997); Furman University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1994).


  • Born Columbus, Georgia.


  • State Bars: Mississippi 1997-; Georgia 2000-.
  • Federal Bars: U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Eleventh Circuit; U.S. District Courts for Northern District of Georgia, for Northern District of Mississippi, and for Southern District of Mississippi.


  • Nonprofit Organization Law, Litigation.
  • Jonathan T. McCants is a 1997 graduate of Harvard Law School and is in his twentieth year of law practice. He has formed and exempted many Section 501(c)(3) organizations, including private foundations, public charities, educational institutions, churches, and supporting organizations, and regularly consults with clients small and large in a variety of areas affecting such organizations. He also advises other exempt organizations, particularly Section 501(c)(2), (c)(4) and (c)(7) organizations. Mr. McCants serves as the Religious Organizations columnist for one of the leading publications focusing on laws affecting exempt organizations, Taxation of Exempts, published by Thomson Reuters.
  • Most of his practice is focused on representation of nonprofit organizations of many stripes, and his litigation background is of constant aid, whether in drafting contracts, negotiating disputes with third parties or the IRS, or litigating on behalf of his nonprofit clients.
  • Mr. McCants is the only attorney named as a SuperLawyer "Rising Star" since 2005 in the nonprofit organizations field in Georgia.
  • Among the nonprofits that Mr. McCants regularly represents are:
    • Public Charitable Institutions - He has formed and exempted a wide range of public charities, such as churches, schools and colleges, foreign relief organizations, "friends of" organizations, health organizations, and many others. His regular consultation of such organizations involves a wide range of topics, including contracts, IRS compliance, employee matters, charitable solicitation and charitable gift annuity registration, intellectual property management, estate contests, Form 990 questions, and other areas.
    • Private Foundations - He has formed and exempted many grantmaking and operating private foundations, and regularly advises both small and large foundations (assets in excess of $100 million) on IRS compliance and a complete range of legal needs.
    • Supporting Organizations - He has formed and exempted many Section 509(a)(3) organizations, from Type 1 controlled organizations to non-functionally integrated Type 3 organizations, and regularly advises them on compliance in the post-Pension Protection Act landscape.
    • Community Foundations and Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) - He has formed and exempted community foundations, and regularly advises public foundations and other charities offering DAFs (with revenues from less than $1 million to in excess of $300 million) regarding compliance with IRS requirements.
    • Broadcast Media Organizations - He has formed and exempted broadcast media charities, and regularly advises them on a full range of matters, from IRS political activity and lobbying restrictions to representation before the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board and the Copyright Collective of Canada for distribution of retransmission royalties.


  • Board of Editors, Harvard Human Rights Journal, 1996-1997
  • President, Wesley Foundation, Furman University.
  • Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Pi Sigma Alpha (national political science honor society).
  • Richard Furman Scholarship (history).
  • Furman Scholar.


  • "Religious Organizations" column, Taxation of Exempts, 2008-present.
  • "Ministerial Housing Allowance in the Dock," Jonathan T. McCants, 22 Taxation of Exempts 44, 2010.
  • "The IRS Goes Back to the Drawing Board on Church Tax Inquiries," 21 Taxation of Exempts 43, Sept.-Oct.2009.
  • "Political Activity and Religious Charities - Ban Under Attack," 20 Taxation of Exempts 45, Nov.-Dec.2008.
  • "Double Trouble in an Election Year," 19 Taxation of Exempts 42, May-June 2008.
  • "The Treasury's Revised Guidelines on International Grantmaking," 16 Taxation of Exempts 13, July-Aug. 2006.
  • "Does Bob Jones Support Exemption Revocations after Obergefell?", Jonathan T. McCants, 27 Taxation of Exempts 43, 2016.
  • "Indispensable or Indefensible? Tax Privileges and Exemptions for Churches and Ministers," Jonathan T. McCants, 26 Taxation of Exempts 44, 2014.
  • "Final Rules for Type III Supporting Organizations," Jonathan T. McCants, 24 Taxation of Exempts 3, 2013.
  • "International Reporting Obligations of Religious Organizations,"Jonathan T. McCants, 23 Taxation of Exempts 39, 2012.

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