Charles M. Watkins

General Information

Charles Watkins counsels and represents national and regional trade and professional associations, charities, public policy advocacy organizations, churches, other religious organizations, and other tax-exempt organizations on income and employment tax, employee benefits, qualified and section 403(b) retirement plans, nonqualified deferred compensation, corporate governance, fundraising and charitable solicitation registration, contracts, and other legal and regulatory matters.

He has written and maintains prototype section 403(b) retirement plans for section 501(c)(3) church and non-church employers.

Mr. Watkins frequently speaks, writes, and teaches seminars on these and other issues of interest to tax-exempt organizations.

Before joining Webster, Chamberlain & Bean in 1986, Mr. Watkins served as an attorney in the Office of the Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service. During his tenure there, he was responsible for issues relating to employee benefits and retirement plans and tax-exempt organizations.

Representative matters
  • While at the IRS, participated in the Government's successful defense of a refund suit by the American Bar Endowment for unrelated business income taxes paid.
  • Obtained IRS approval of exemption under section 501(c)(3) for an industry-backed research laboratory.
  • Prepared the user license agreement and user-specific amendments for a major web-based electronic communications network
  • Successfully defended a church audit arising out of allegations of improper political activity, and including additional issues.
  • Successfully defended a state employment tax audit of church-controlled university focusing on whether the university was an "integral agency" of a church denomination.

Practice Areas:

Nonprofit and Charitable Organizations; Trade and Professional Associations; Tax Exempt Organizations; Employee Benefits; Employment Taxation.

Education & Honors

J.D., Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
A.B., Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Bar & Court Admissions

Admitted to bar, 1981, District of Columbia; 1983, U.S. Claims Court; 1987, U.S. Tax Court and U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

Professional Activities

Frequent speaker at professional meetings for tax-exempt organizations on tax, employee benefit, and legal issues.