John R. Wylie

Member

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Phone: 719.448.4037

Fax: 719.635.4576

jwylie@shermanhoward.com

Education

  • Juris Doctor, University of Michigan, 1983
  • Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, Albion College,  1979
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • University of Sussex, Brighton, England, 1977-1978

For nearly 40 years, John has focused on advising all types of nonprofit organizations, helping them achieve their missions more effectively.

John Wylie combines technical skill, a deep understanding of nonprofit organizations, and a unique sensitivity to their priorities and legal needs with years of practical experience as he represents the full range of faith-based, sports, health care, charitable and educational institutions.

His experience includes advising boards and senior management teams on entity structuring, governance, personnel policies, First Amendment issues, and religious accommodations. John advises clients in joint ventures and affiliations, mergers and acquisitions, and a wide array of other transactional and operational matters. He regularly provides counsel on topics as varied as commercial activities, federal and state regulatory requirements, international structure and activities, intellectual property issues, and religious worker visas.

John also has extensive experience with exempt organizations’ tax issues, including unrelated business income tax liability, current and deferred giving techniques, the private foundation rules, property and sales tax exemptions, and the implications of being recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a church or religious order.

Experience

  • Led the merger of two large nonprofit organizations, each with more than 1,000 employees and budgets exceeding $150 million.
  • Helped nearly 30 faith-based organizations obtain IRS recognition as a church, association of churches or religious order.
  • Counseled a faith-based organization in settling more than 20 claims of sexual abuse of minors committed overseas approximately 30-50 years ago.
  • Served as national counsel to the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations, convened by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability in response to the efforts of the Senate Finance Committee to impose significant new legislative and regulatory oversight on faith-based organizations.
  • Co-leads a roundtable of in-house counsel for faith-based organizations, which now has close to 100 participants.

Publications & Presentations

John Wylie is a frequent speaker who has presented before groups such as the Christian Camp & Conference Association, Christian Leadership Alliance, Christian Legal Society, Colorado Bar Association, Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants, Colorado Springs Nonprofit Center, Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, Inc., Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Grant Thornton National Exempt Organizations Conference, Mission Nexus (formerly known as CrossGlobal Link and Mission Exchange), Lockton Risk Management Conference, and the National Business Institute.

 

  • CARES Act: Managing Potential Religious Restrictions Attached to CARES Act PPP Loans
    Sherman & Howard Nonprofit & Tax-Exempt Organizations Advisory | April 2, 2020
  • Co-author, “Roles and Responsibilities of Directors and Officers,” Chapter 2A, A Guide for Colorado Nonprofit Organizations, 1st ed. (Karen E. Leaffer, ed., John Valentine, co-author, CLE in Colorado, Inc., 2012)
  • Co-author, “Sta-Home Health Agency, et al. v. Commissioner: A 21st Century Odyssey,” American Health Lawyers Association Tax and Finance Practice Group, (Thomas K. Hyatt and Stephen P. Nash, co-authors, August 9, 2006)
  • Co-author, “Form Follows Function in Planning Activities with Foreign Organizations,” Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations(now known as Taxation of Exempts), (Stuart J. Lark, co-author, May/June 1999)
  • Co-author, “Tax Planning in the Era of the ‘Strategic Alliance,’” Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations(now known as Taxation of Exempts), (Stuart J. Lark, co-author, September/October 1998)
  • Co-author, “Charitable Solicitations Require Careful Compliance with State Registration Rules,” Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations(now known as Taxation of Exempts), (Steven B. Smith, co-author, January/February 1998)
  • Co-author, “Types of Religious Organizations: Differences from a Tax Perspective,” The Colorado Lawyer, (Timothy G. Pfeifer, co-author, November 1997)
  • Co-author, “Recent Developments Require Another Look at Unemployment Taxes,” Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations(now known as Taxation of Exempts), (Stuart J. Lark, co-author, May/June 1997)
  • Co-author, “The Housing Allowance for ‘Nontraditional’ Ministers Depends on Direct Ministry Services,” Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations(now known as Taxation of Exempts), (Steve L. Gaines, co-author, January/February 1997)
  • Co-author, “Final Regulations Define Church Integrated Auxiliaries,” Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations(now known as Taxation of Exempts), (Timothy G. Pfeifer, co-author, May/June 1996)
  • Co-author, “Two Cases Produce Different Outcomes on Employee Status of Ministers,” Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations(now known as Taxation of Exempts), (G. Leland Dutcher, co-author, January/February 1996)
  • Co-author, “Distinguishing Among Churches, Religious Orders, and Other Religious Organizations,” Journal of Taxation of Exempt Organizations(now known as Taxation of Exempts), (Timothy G. Pfeifer, co-author, September/October 1995)

Professional Activities

  • Christian Legal Society
    • Former member of the Board of Directors
    • Former President and Chairman of the Board
  • Christian Leadership Alliance (Advisory Council member)
  • Former member, American Bar Association, Exempt Organizations Committee and Religious Organizations Subcommittee of the Taxation Section
  • Former President and Chairman of the Board, Colorado Springs Sled Hockey Association
  • National counsel, Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations (convened by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability at the request of Senator Charles Grassley, then-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee)

Highlights

  • Best Lawyers in America, Nonprofit and Charities Law, Colorado Springs (2013-2021)
  • Colorado Springs Style Magazine, “Top Attorney,” Church Law (2018-2020)